Ruto appoints environmentalist Patrick Verkoojein as new UoN Chancellor

President William Ruto (left) with newly appointed UoN Chancellor Prof Patrick Verkooijen at State House, Nairobi. [PCS]

Professor Patrick Verkooijen is the new Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, effective immediately.

This follows his appointment by President William Ruto on Friday, January 12.

He takes over from Dr Vijoo Rattansi whose tenure has ended.

Prof Verkooijen, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Global Centre on Adaptation, becomes the institution’s first Chancellor from outside Africa.

President Ruto said he was thrilled that Prof Verkooijen will be leading the institution.

“He brings a wealth of experience that will help stimulate the University of Nairobi’s growth,” said the President.

The new UoN Chancellor has a broad network of think tanks in educational development with a solid track record in climate adaptation and the green economy.

It is expected that he will leverage these attributes to strengthen the university’s place as a centre of excellence.

He is one of the architects of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme, a joint initiative of the African Development Bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation that aims to mobilize $25 billion to accelerate and scale climate adaptation action across Africa.

Working with Heads of State and Governments from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, Professor Verkooijen has convened multiple summits to advance the climate adaptation cause.

He also managed the Global Commission on Adaptation chaired by Ban Ki-moon and co-led by Kristalina Georgieva and Bill Gates which led to widespread awareness of the benefits of climate adaptation.

Notably, he was the brains behind the first-ever Climate Adaptation Summit hosted by the Netherlands in January 2021.

A Dutch national, Prof Verkooijen holds a PhD from Wageningen University, an MPA from Harvard, a Master's in philosophy from the University of Amsterdam, and an environmental engineering degree from the University of Utrecht Applied Sciences.