Professor Kabat is Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), an independent, global international science and science to policy institute with 22 member countries and more than 2000 international staff, of which 400 are located in its host country Austria. He is also Full Professor of Earth System Science at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Founding Chair and Director of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and Arts Institute for Integrated Research on Wadden Sea Region (Wadden Academy), a Member of the Leadership Council for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Founding Co-Chair and Director of the High Level Alpbach–Laxenburg Group, in which global leaders from academia, governments, businesses and civil society come together to support and advocate for sustainable transitions and sustainable development.
Trained as a mathematician and hydrologist, Professor Kabat’s almost 30 year research career has covered earth system science and global change, with a specific focus on land-atmosphere interactions, climate hydrology, water cycle and water resources.
He is an author and coauthor of over 300 refereed publications, including 9 books, member of 3 international editorial boards, and (co)editor of numerous special issues of peer reviewed international journals.
Academic and societal awards and distinctions received by Professor Kabat include the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (co-recipient of the prize awarded to IPCC), the Zayed International Prize for the Environment (group award to the authors of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2006), and several honorary degrees, professorships, memberships and distinguished fellowships internationally.
In 2013, Professor Kabat was honored by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix Knight with the Order of the Netherlands Lion, a national order of chivalry founded in 1815 by King William I, which recognizes excellence in the arts, science, sport, and literature.
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1958, and being Dutch national, Professor Kabat lived and worked in Canada and the Netherlands before moving to Austria to direct IIASA. Previously, he held the Chair of the Earth System Science and Climate Change Group at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands, where he was also Chair of the Board of the Wageningen Climate Centre, and Science Director and Council Chair of the Dutch National Climate Research Program. As leader of these groups, Professor Kabat helped raise €150 million in funding for integrative research while the Earth System Science Group was evaluated as “excellent” in two consecutive reviews by independent international committees in 2007 and 2010.
During his career with support from the European Commission and other large international agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), he has pioneered large-scale research on global change that has provided the foundation for a new generation of thinking in global change research. His roles have included being Co-Chair of two of the International Scientific Steering Committees of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programmes, ILEAPS from 2004 to date and BAHC from 1994 to 2003; and the Science Director of the International Dialogue on Water and Climate and the International Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate from 2001 to 2009.
Professor Kabat has provided science and policy advice to numerous organizations and governments in various roles such as Chief Scientist for an Asian Development Bank project in Bangladesh from 2008 to 2010, Member of the Advisory Group on Climate to the Dutch Parliament, Member of the High Level International Mekong Delta Committee and Review Editor for the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC.
Last edited: 10 December 2014
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313