Professor Ivanova focuses on international environmental institutions, environmental sustainability, and the science-policy interface. The author of The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty (MIT Press 2021), she has published on global environmental governance, the United Nations Environment Programme, climate change, and the Sustainable Development Goals, among others. Her work has appeared in Nature, Sustainability, Ethics & International Affairs, Global Policy, Global Environmental Politics, Global Governance, and elsewhere.

In June 2022, Professor Ivanova was named one of 66 inaugural Foundation Fellows of the International Science Council, the highest honor awarded by the Council in recognition of remarkable contributions to the role of science in promoting the global public good. She is a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability co-chaired by Helen Clark and Irina Bokova. She is also an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, a member of the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and a member of the Executive Science Organizing Committee for the WCRP Open Science Conference (to take place in October 2023 in Rwanda), and an Ambassador for Transparency International. She serves as a Research Scholar at the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on the Sustainability Advisory Council at Yale University, and on the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative Advisory Group.

For twelve years, Professor Ivanova served at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she directed the Center for Governance and Sustainability and the PhD program in Global Governance and Human Security. Among her recent leadership appointments, Professor Ivanova co-chaired the drafting process for the official letter from scientists and scholars of the world to global leaders at the Stockholm+50 Conference, calling for urgent policy action for a sustainable planet. She served on the Rwandan delegation to the UN Environment Assembly negotiating the resolution on a global treaty on plastics. She has also been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2013-2016), Chair of the Advisory Board for UN University-Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (IAS) in Tokyo, Japan (2019-2021), and Chair of the Jury for the USD 5 million New Shape Prize to reform global governance administered by the Global Challenges Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden (2017-2018).