3 October, 2016, Tokyo — The United Nations University (UNU) is pleased to announce that Rector David M. Malone has appointed Professor Taikan Oki as the next UNU Senior Vice-Rector, effective 1 October 2016. In that post, Prof. Oki holds the rank of United Nations Assistant Secretary-General.
Prof. Oki is a prominent researcher on global hydrology and the sustainability of world water resources. He currently is a Professor with the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), The University of Tokyo, where he has been 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 (Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, & Technology (MEXT), 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).
“I am very pleased to welcome Professor Oki to the UNU family”, said UNU Rector David Malone. “Professor Oki’s research leadership on water challenges in South-East Asia, notably Thailand, fit well with the overall UNU focus on global economic and social development.“
Prof. Oki has published more than 10 books and 220 peer-reviewed journal articles. He supported the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th and 5th assessment reports as a lead author and coordinating lead author, respectively. He also contributed to developing the Strategic Plan of the UNESCO-IHP VIII as one of the task force members. Further, he served as chair of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Global Change Observation Mission – Water Satellite 1 (GCOM-W1) Science Team.
Prof. Oki holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from The University of Tokyo.
He has received a number of major awards, including the Cultural Publication Award (Japan Society of Civil Engineering, 2014), Biwako Prize for Ecology (The Ecological Society of Japan, 2011), Nikkei Global Environmental Technology Award (2008), Commendation for Science and Technology (by the Minister, MEXT, 2008), Japan Academy Medal (2008), and JSPS Prize (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2008).
Prof. Oki expressed his enthusiasm in joining UNU, saying: “I’m excited that as a member of UNU, I will be able to support developing social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the world. As UNU Senior Vice-Rector, I would like to strengthen collaboration by The University of Tokyo and other academic institutions in Japan and Asia with the UN system, promote transdisciplinary research, contribute to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and enhance the reputation of UNU”.
Prof. Oki succeeds Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, who served as UNU Senior Vice-Rector from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2016.
Journalists who would like more information, or who wish to request an interview with UNU Senior Vice-Rector Taikan Oki, may contact UNU Media Relations Specialist Junko Nishikawa (+81 3 5467-1298, firstname.lastname@example.org).