25 January 2021

New appointment for Pavel Kabat

Former IIASA Director and CEO, Pavel Kabat, has been announced as the next Secretary-General of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) starting 1 July 2021. 

Pavel Kabat © IIASA | Matthias Silveri © IIASA | Matthias Silveri

Pavel Kabat © IIASA | Matthias Silveri

“I am absolutely thrilled to join HFSPO and want to thank the Board of Trustees for putting their confidence and trust in me,” said Kabat. “The life sciences are a highly complex and rapidly developing field and have become a true frontier that will have a lasting impact on society. I believe that my previous experience in transdisciplinary systems approaches will be helpful for us to further the reputation and success of HFSPO. I look forward to leading HFSPO’s efforts in supporting fundamental research in the life sciences, expanding its global membership and overall footprint, and to exploring new emerging life science topics, as well as the transdisciplinary, collaborative power of the program.”  

The HFSPO was founded in 1989 to advance international research and training at the frontiers of life sciences. It is supported in 2021 by contributions from the G7 nations, together with Switzerland, Australia, India, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and the European Union. With its collaborative research grants and postdoctoral fellowships, the program has issued over 4,500 awards involving about 7,500 scientists from all over the world. 

As the new Secretary-General, Kabat will continue to build HFSPO’s prestigious reputation as the leading body supporting international collaboration in basic life science research. He will lead HFSPO into the future of a rapidly changing scientific and research funding environment. HFSPO takes a worldwide approach in the spirit of science without borders, funding outstanding research at the leading edge of the life sciences through its research grant and postdoctoral fellowship programs.  

Prior to joining the HFSPO, Kabat was the inaugural Chief Scientist and Research Director of the Geneva based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations, where he was overseeing the overall strategic direction of WMO science and the application of its activities worldwide. From 2012-2018, he was the Director General and CEO of IIASA. Kabat is also professor of Global Water and Climate Systems at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.  

Trained as a mathematician and hydrologist, Kabat’s almost 35-year academic career has covered earth system science with a specific focus on interactions between biospheric, physical, and human parts of the Earth system, land-atmosphere feedbacks, climate hydrology, and the water cycle.  


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Last edited: 25 January 2021

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Mukhortova, L., Shchepashchenko, D. , Moltchanova, E., Shvidenko, A., Khabarov, N. , & See, L. (2021). Respiration of Russian soils: climatic drivers and response to climate change. Science of the Total Environment 785, e147314. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147314.

Oshiro, K., Fujimori, S. , Ochi, Y., & Ehara, Tomoki (2021). Enabling energy system transition toward decarbonization in Japan through energy service demand reduction. Energy 227, e120464. 10.1016/j.energy.2021.120464.

Dianati, K., Schäfer, L., Milner, J., Gomez Sanabria, A. , Gitau, H., Hale, J., Langmaack, H., Kiesewetter, G., et al. (2021). A System Dynamics-based Scenario Analysis of Residential Solid Waste Management in Kisumu, Kenya. Science of the Total Environment 777, e146200. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146200.

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