Professor Patrick Verkooijen is the CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), the international organization working as a solutions broker to accelerate, innovate, and scale adaptation action for a climate-resilient world.
Previously, Professor Verkooijen helped shape the climate agenda of the World Bank Group in his role as the Special Representative on Climate Change. In this capacity, he established global initiatives to support countries address the impacts of climate change, including amongst others, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, and the US$800 million Forest Investment Program.
Professor Verkooijen has dedicated his career to working alongside global leaders to drive action for transformative solutions for climate adaptation at scale. Under his leadership, GCA is collaborating with global leaders, including President Macky Sall, Chair of the African Union, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, to mobilize US$25 billion in adaptation financing for Africa through the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). AAAP has, to date, influenced $3bn in investment for adaptation in Africa since its inception.
He was the driving force behind the first ever Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands in January 2021 with the participation of the newly appointed U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. This led to the creation of the annual Africa Adaptation Summit held in Rotterdam every September with the participation of Heads of State and global leaders. Professor Verkooijen also spearheaded the Groningen Science Declaration which saw five Nobel Laureates and over 3,000 global scientists call on world leaders, decision- makers and investors, to change the way we understand, plan and invest for a changing climate to ensure we limit future damage. He also managed the Global Commission on Adaptation chaired by Ban Ki-moon and co-led by Kristalina Georgieva and Bill Gates which led to widespread awareness of the benefits of climate adaptation.
He is helping shape the future of adaptation action in 48 countries most threatened by climate change in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific through his role as Managing Partner of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. He also initiated the State and Trends in Adaptation in Africa report series which is the most comprehensive guide to assessing progress on climate adaptation in Africa.
Professor Verkooijen serves as the Ban Ki-moon Chair on Climate Adaptation Governance at the University of Groningen, as the Distinguished Chair of The Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi and Professor of Practice of Sustainable Development Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He holds a PhD from Wageningen University, an MPA from Harvard and was awarded a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, from the University of Nairobi in recognition of his long career and achievements in championing climate action globally and shaping bold action at scale in Africa.