Born in 1944 in Stara Miłosna. In 1966 graduated from the Faculty of Forestry of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Doctor of forest sciences since 1972. In 1983 Jan Szyszko received the PhD title, followed by the Professor title in 2001.
Director of the Polish Board of National Parks in 1992-1993. Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry in 1997-1999. Between 1999 and 2001 he acted as the Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, plenipotentiary of the Government of the Republic of Poland for the UN Convention on Climate Change and President of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP5). Judge of the State Tribunal in 2001-2005. Minister of Environment in 2005-2007. Member of Parliament of the V, VI, VII and VIII term of the Polish Seym. Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry, member of the Parliamentary Committee for the European Union and Chairman of the Parliamentary Team for the Sustainable Development of Europe of the VII term of the Polish Seym.
Head of the Landscape Protection Department of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS) in 2000-2005. Co-founder and head of the of the Inter-Academic Study of Assessment and Valuation of Environmental Resources of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and Warsaw School of Economics (WSE). Member of the European Association of Coleopterology, Doctor Honoris Causa of the two foreign universities: Luneburg University (Germany) and Uzhhorod University (Ukraine). Winner of the Ettore Majorana – Erice – Science for Peace Prize established by the World Federation of Scientists associating several Noble Prize Winners.
Founder and head of the ‘D&B’ private scientific and research station in Tuczno, educating the Polish and foreign students in the area of ecosystem and landscape development and functioning. Collaborator of multiple scientific centers, including the sites in Germany, Holland, Ukraine and Belarus.
Author of more than 250 scientific publications in the field of forest ecosystems development, enhancing forest health, population size dynamics, forest system restoration and use of environmental resources, including for the economic development of the country. Professor Jan Szyszko is one of the founders and the President of the Association for Sustainable Development of Poland.