Prof. Patrick Verkooijen​

The Chancellor for the University of Nairobi is Prof. Patrick Verkooijen

Professor Patrick Verkooijen is CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, the foremost international organization dedicated to the challenge of adapting our world to the global climate emergency. As founding CEO of the GCA, Professor Verkooijen has built a global organization supporting active adaptation projects in over 30 countries. 

He is one of the architects of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, the world’s largest climate adaptation programme of its kind which has already shaped over $6 billion of resilient investments on the world’s most climate-vulnerable continent in just three years. 

Working with heads of state and government from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, Professor Verkooijen has convened multiple summits to advance the cause of climate adaptation. 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.

He was the driving force behind the first ever Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands in January 2021 with the participation of the newly appointed U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. This led to the creation of the annual Africa Adaptation Summit held in Rotterdam every September with the participation of Heads of State and global leaders and the Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi in September 2023.

Professor Verkooijen also spearheaded the Groningen Science Declaration which saw five Nobel Laureates and over 3,000 global scientists call on world leaders, decision- makers and investors to overhaul the way we understand, plan and invest for a changing climate. 

Professor Verkooijen has extensive leadership experience in higher education. He was appointed as the Distinguished Chair of The Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies by the University of Nairobi in September 2022. He was also awarded a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, of the University of Nairobi in recognition of his long career and achievements in championing climate action globally and shaping bold action at scale in Africa. 

He also serves as Ban Ki-moon Chair on Climate Adaptation Governance at the University of Groningen and was the Professor of Practice of Sustainable Development Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 2012 to 2018. 

A Dutch national, he 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.

Prior to founding the Global Center on Adaptation, Professor Verkooijen served as the World Bank Group Special Representative on Climate Change, and previously as its head of climate-smart agriculture. In these roles he established the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, the world’s largest coalition for putting a price on carbon; organized more than 10 IMF-World Bank Climate Ministerials for ministers of finance and planning, and set up the $1.6 billion Forest Investment Program, the largest indigenous people and local communities grant mechanism in the world at that time.

He was Special Advisor to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan, Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Senior Advisor at the economic affairs, nature and agriculture ministry of the Netherlands.

The Chancellor's Contacts:
Contact Person: Mr. Brian Lugonzo
Physical Address: Main Campus
Postal Address: P.O Box P.O BOX 30197, 00100, G.P.O
Telephone Number: +254 02 491 8001