Mrs Iva Obretenova holds two Master’s Degrees, in Political Science, majoring European Public Administration and in International Relations from the University of Strasbourg, in 2003 and 2005.

She started her career at the Secretariat of the European Parliament in Brussels where she worked for the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. Later, she joined the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), an umbrella organisation of more than 130 teacher trade unions from Europe, acting as teachers' social partner at European level. She was dealing with the organisations’ policy positions and was responsible for a number of cooperation projects between European schools in fields such as violence at school, anti-discrimination and new technologies applied to education. 

In 2010, she joined the Council of Europe and the Secretariat of the Bern Convention to manage the development of the Emerald Network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest and the European Diploma for Protected Areas of the Council of Europe. In 2016, she was appointed Secretary of the Bern Convention and since deals with the overall management of the Convention’s Programme of Work and in particular activities related to the eradication of illegal killing of birds, conservation of herpetofauna and climate change. She is also responsible for coordinating the Convention’s monitoring system and related activities.