In a gazette notice published on January 12, 2024, Verkooijen was appointed to serve as the University’s chancellor for a period of five years.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 38 (1) (a) of the Universities Act, I, William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, appoint — PATRICK V. VERKOOIJEN (PROF.) to be the Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, for a period of five (5) years, with effect from January 12, 2024,” Ruto directed.
Verkooijen has been serving as the Chair of The Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies.
He was appointed to the role in September 2022 by the University of Nairobi, to chair the institute established in honor of the late Nobel Peace Laurette Prof. Wangari Mathai.
Prof. Stephen Kiama, the Vice Chancellor of the University, announced the appointment at the institution’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony.
Accepting the appointment, Professor Verkooijen used the occasion to underline the climate emergency in Africa.
“Africa is climate crisis ground zero. If Africa loses out to the climate crisis, the world will lose out.
Adapting Africa to the climate crisis is not just about survival,” he said then.
University of Nairobi Gets Global Environmentalist
Prof. Verkooijen is globally recognized as a climate leader who has combined academic excellence with bold policy leadership globally.
In recognition for his championing towards climate action, the University of Nairobi also awarded Verkooijen with a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, in 2012.
Additionally, he is also Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Climate Adaptation Programme at the University of Groningen, Netherlands.
He is also a Lead Author of the Global Forest Expert Group (GFEP) on the International Forest Regime.
The International Forest Regime is established within the United Nations framework of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.
Bringing together over 50 leading political scientists worldwide, the scientific assessment aims to contribute to the international forest deliberations by bridging the science-policy divide.