Prof Taikan Oki joined the United Nations University as Senior Vice-Rector on 1 October 2016. His responsibilities include supporting management initiatives UNU-wide and maintaining UNU’s scientific partnership with the University of Tokyo and broader relationships in Japan, including with government ministries and the general public.
As UNU Senior Vice-Rector, he holds the post of United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General.
Prof Oki is a prominent researcher on global hydrology and the sustainability of world water resources. He currently works at the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), University of Tokyo, where he is managing the research group on Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering.
His previous academic positions include Associate Professor with IIS (2003–2006); Associate Professor with the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (2002–2003); and Associate Professor (1997–2002), Lecturer (1995–1997), and Research Associate (1989–1995) with IIS. He also served as Deputy Director for Environment and Energy with the Council for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office of Japan (2005–2006). Taikan was also recently appointed as Special Advisor to the President of the University of Tokyo.
Prof Oki holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Tokyo.
He has received a number of major awards, most recently the Cultural Publication Award (Japan Society of Civil Engineering, 2014) and the Biwako Prize for Ecology (The Ecological Society of Japan, 2011).