Home NEWS Local News President Ruto appoints Prof. Verkooijen as new UoN Chancellor

President Ruto appoints Prof. Verkooijen as new UoN Chancellor


President William Ruto on Friday appointed Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen as the New Chancellor of the University of Nairobi for a five-year term.

Prof. Dr. Verkooijen succeeds Dr. Vijoo Rattansi, who served the University with for 10 years.

Prof Verkooijen is a distinguished environmentalist with a wealth of experience and expertise.

“I am thrilled that Professor Verkooijen will be leading the nation’s premier educational institution,” said President Ruto

“He brings unrivaled experience in key areas and leadership in confronting critical issues that define the most important challenges for states, societies, economies, and institutions of our time,” added the Head of State

Prof Verkooijen, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Center on Adaptation, becomes the first chancellor of the institute from outside Africa. He will take over the role on February 1 this year.

It is hoped that he will use these qualities to cement the university’s position as a centre of excellence.

Working with heads of state and government from Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States, Professor Verkooijen has hosted numerous summits to advance climate mitigation efforts.

He also chaired the International Adaptation Commission chaired by former UN boss Ban Ki-moon along with Kristalina Georgieva and Bill Gates which led to a greater understanding of the benefits of climate adaptation.

The Dutch national holds a PhD from Wageningen University, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard, a Master of Philosophy from the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering from Utrecht Applied Sciences.

“Prof Verkooijen has a proven track record in many domains, not least in the hundreds of thousands of new jobs that adaptation and other positive climate action initiatives have already created in Africa,” said Ruto

“We know where our destination lies and I have confidence that he will be a steadfast navigator in our journey into the future we want,” noted the President

His appointment has received praise from various local and international figures and institutions.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said for more than two decades Professor Verkooijen has been on the frontline of the fight against climate breakdown.

“I have seen at first hand on many occasions his Herculean dedication to the mission of building a sustainable and resilient future,” he said

WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Professor Verkooijen is trusted for delivering on sustainability issues especially creating opportunities for developing countries to handle the challenges of climate change.

“He is innovative, energetic and intellectually strong. I have no doubt that he will bring his enormous talents to bear in a manner that advances the interests of the University of Nairobi.” she said

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF Managing Director, said;Patrick connects with young people; his input will help to inspire the next generation of Kenyan leaders in many fields to go on to do great things for Kenya.”