Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld was appointed as the eleventh Director General of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) on 1 October 2018. IIASA is an independent, international, science, and science-to-policy institute with 23 member countries, nearly 400 international staff, and a global research network of around 2,500 scholars and more than 600 partner institutions. As Director General and CEO, van Jaarsveld is responsible for the formulation, management, and administration of all research programs and other activities at IIASA.

Van Jaarsveld obtained his PhD in Zoology from the University of Pretoria, pursued postdoctoral studies and research in conservation biology and global security in Australia and the UK respectively, and completed executive management training at Harvard University. His research work focused on biodiversity and conservation planning, biodiversity and climate change, as well as ecosystem services. He was appointed full professor at both the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch and has published more than 100 primary research papers, including highly cited works in Science and Nature.

Van Jaarsveld is the recipient of numerous professional awards. These include awards as an Outstanding Young Scientist; Outstanding Academic Achiever; the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Tuition and Learning from the University of Pretoria; the University of Stellenbosch Vice-Chancellors Award for Research Excellence; and the Centenary Medal for a distinguished career in research, teaching, and leadership from the South African Academy of Science and Arts. He is also a co-recipient of the International Zayed Prize for the Environment, a member of several professional and academic organizations and associations, including being a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, and an elected member of the South African Academy of Sciences.

On the international front, he has served as co-chair of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment follow-up: Sub- global assessments and as a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) nominations committee. He also held positions as Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services science focal point; Chair of the G8 science ministers’ group of senior officials on global research infrastructure; Chair of the International Group of Funding Agencies; Co-Chair of the Belmont Forum; and as a member of the ICSU review panel (2013-2014) and the IPBES external review panel (2018).