10 May 2018 — The United Nations University (UNU) has appointed Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner as the next Director of its Bonn, Germany-based UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), effective 1 October 2018. UNU-EHS conducts research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change and promotes policies and programmes to reduce these risks. The institute also offers a joint Master of Science degree programme in “The Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” jointly with the University of Bonn.
“I’m pleased to welcome Prof. Messner to the global UNU family,” said UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General David M. Malone. “His experience and expertise as a political scientist and development economist — together with his extensive global research network — will enhance the already robust research and training activities of UNU-EHS, and benefit UNU’s work overall.”
Since 2003, Prof. Messner has served as Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). He has also held the position of Professor of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen since 2006, and Co-Director of the university’s Käte Hamburg Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research since 2012.
Prof. Messner is currently the Co-Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen) and has been working as an advisor to a number of international organisations, e.g. as a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Advisory Commission, and the European Commission’s Scientific Advisory Board for EU Development Policy. He also serves as a member of several academic journal editorial boards and as a chair or member of scientific advisory groups of several research institutions.
“I’m proud to become part of UNU,” said Prof. Messner. “UNU-EHS is a first-class research institute contributing to global sustainability research. Its approach of bringing international and interdisciplinary research teams together and cooperating with research centres around the globe creates innovative knowledge. I’m looking forward to working with UNU-EHS colleagues and contributing to the exciting UNU network worldwide.”
Prof. Messner holds a Doctor of Political Science (Dr. rer. pol.) degree and Habilitation qualification from the Free University of Berlin. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 publications. He was also the Academic Director of the University of Duisburg-Essen’s Institute for Development and Peace (Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden; 1995–2002), a Private Lecturer with the Faculty for Political Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Free University of Berlin (1995–2003), and Professor of Political Sciences at the University of Munich (2003).
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About the United Nations University
For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing problems of human survival, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers worldwide, UNU’s core mission is to generate research that makes a difference on the big issues and encourages the rethinking of existing policies and perspectives. https://unu.edu/
Based in Bonn, Germany UNU-EHS conducts research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change. The institute’s research promotes policies and programmes to reduce these risks, while taking into account the interplay between environmental and societal factors. Research areas include climate change adaptation incorporating insurance-related approaches, environmentally induced migration and social vulnerability, ecosystem services and environmental deterioration processes, and models and tools to analyse vulnerability and risks linked to natural hazards with a focus on urban space and rural-urban interfaces.
UNU-EHS also offers the joint Master of Science degree programme “The Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn, and hosts international PhD projects and courses on global issues of environmental risks and sustainable development.