Anna Tengberg holds a PhD in Physical Geography from Gothenburg University, Sweden where she also worked, in the beginning of her career as a lecturer at its Earth Sciences Centre. During her time as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia, U.K she had the opportunity to link her environmental interest with development issues. This led to a career with the United Nations where she worked for more than ten years, first for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its Division of Global Environment Facility (GEF) Coordination in Nairobi, and later for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its Regional Centre in Bangkok for Asia-Pacific.
She has conducted fieldwork in many different parts of the world and published papers on desertification and land degradation, economic valuation of soil erosion, soil and water conservation, marine conservation, and ecosystem services. She has developed and overseen implementation of a large number of multilaterally funded natural resources management projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia that address land degradation issues as well as international collaboration in management of transboundary ecosystems and international waters. She has also been involved in global assessment projects, such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and the Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA). She is currently working at Stockholm International Waters Institute (SIWI) and is also consulting for agencies, such as UNDP, UNEP, FAO and IFAD. She is Associate Editor of the journal Environment, Development and Sustainability.