Albert van Jaarsveld profile picture

Albert van Jaarsveld

Director General

Directorate - DG Department


Albert van Jaarsveld was appointed as the eleventh Director General of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in 2018. Prior to joining IIASA, he served as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and President and CEO of the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).

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.

On the international front, van Jaarsveld 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 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). He was also part of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) external review panel (2018-2019), the Global Forum of Funders International Science Council (ISC) Working group on Global Sustainability Science Funding Action 2020-2030 (2019-2021), member of the Future Earth external review Panel (2020), and a member of the ISC Commission on Global Science Missions for Sustainability (2021).

Last update: 14 DEC 2021


Gluckman, P., Quirion, R., Sachs, J., & van Jaarsveld, A.S. (2022). Scientific diplomacy keeps reason alight in dark times. Nature 604 (7906) p. 425. 10.1038/d41586-022-01060-z.

Stevance, A.-S., Bridgewater, P., Louafi, S., King, N., Beard, T.D., van Jaarsveld, A.S., Ofir, Z., Kohsaka, R., Jenderedijan, K., Rosales Benites, M., Mulongoy, K.J., Chaudhari, K.L., Painter, J., & Meter, A. (2020). The 2019 review of IPBES and future priorities: reaching beyond assessment to enhance policy impact. Ecosystems and People 16 (1) 70-77. 10.1080/26395916.2019.1702590.