UoN’s New Chancellor, Patrick Verkooijen: A Connected Man with a Climate Focus

Patrick Verkooijen, the newly appointed Chancellor of the University of Nairobi (UoN), spoke about the reasons behind his selection by President William Ruto. As the CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), Verkooijen emphasized his connections and track record in mobilizing financial resources for climate adaptation from the Global North.

Quick Summary

  • Patrick Verkooijen outlines the reasons behind his appointment as the UoN Chancellor.
  • The Dutch national points to his active role in mobilizing financial resources for climate adaptation from the Global North.
  • Verkooijen sees his value in being a transmission line between UoN’s assets, aiming to bring the university to the world and vice versa.
  • His appointment by President Ruto is for a five-year term, effective from January 12, 2024.

Connectedness and Climate Focus

Speaking to Citizen TV, Patrick Verkooijen explained that his selection as the UoN Chancellor was based on his connections and results, particularly in the realm of climate adaptation. He highlighted his active role in mobilizing financial resources for climate adaptation, a critical issue for Africa, especially Kenya, which is significantly affected by the climate emergency.

Bringing UoN to the World

Verkooijen sees his role as a transmission line, connecting the University of Nairobi’s assets with the global stage. He aims to bring the university to the world and, simultaneously, bring the world to the institution. His vision reflects a commitment to leveraging his experience and networks for the benefit of UoN.

Appointment Details

President William Ruto appointed Patrick Verkooijen as the UoN Chancellor through a Gazette Notice issued on January 12, 2024. The appointment is for a five-year term, set to expire in 2029. Verkooijen’s previous role was as the chair of the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at UoN, a position he assumed in September 2023.

Final Thoughts

Patrick Verkooijen’s appointment as the UoN Chancellor underscores the intersection of academic leadership and climate advocacy. His emphasis on connectivity and climate adaptation aligns with the global challenges universities face today. As he embarks on this role, Verkooijen’s vision to elevate UoN on the international stage and address climate-related issues reflects a commitment to making a positive impact during his tenure.


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