Albert van Jaarsveld was appointed 11th Director General of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in 2018. Prior to joining IIASA, he was 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 (University of Pretoria), pursued postdoctoral studies and research in conservation biology and global security in Australia and the UK, and completed executive management training at Harvard University. His research work focused on biodiversity, conservation planning, biodiversity and climate change, and ecosystem services. He was appointed full professor at both the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch and published more than 100 primary research papers, including highly cited works in Science and Nature.
Van Jaarsveld served as co-chair of the MEA follow-up: Sub-global assessments, member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) nominations committee, IPBES focal point, Chaired the G8 science ministers’ group of senior officials on global research infrastructure, chair of IGFA, co-Chair of Belmont Forum, member of the ICSU review panel (2013), IPBES external review panel (2018), Future Earth external review Panel (2020) and on the ISC Commission on Missions for Sustainability (2021).