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About us Practical matters How to find us prof. dr. P.V.D.J. (Patrick) Verkooijen

prof. dr. P.V.D.J. (Patrick) Verkooijen

Chair of the Climate Adaptation Programme
Profile picture of prof. dr. P.V.D.J. (Patrick) Verkooijen


Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen is the CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, the foremost international organization dedicated to the challenge of adapting our world to the global climate emergency.

He also serves as Distinguished Chair of the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi and as the Ban Ki-moon Chair on Climate Adaptation Governance at the University of Groningen.

As founding CEO of the GCA, Prof. Verkooijen has built a global organization supporting active adaptation projects in over 30 countries. Together with African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina he is the architect of the world’s largest adaptation program, the $25 billion dollar Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, which has already shaped over $6 billion of resilient investments on the world’s most climate-vulnerable continent since its inception in 2021. Working with heads of state and government from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, Prof. Verkooijen organized more than half a dozen Summits of world leaders aimed at elevating the cause of climate adaptation, including as co-convenor of the Global Commission on Adaptation.

Prior to GCA, Prof. Verkooijen served as the World Bank Group Special Representative on Climate Change, and earlier as its head of climate smart agriculture. In these roles he established the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which is the world’s largest coalition for putting a price on carbon, organized more than ten International Monetary Fund-World Bank Climate Ministerials of ministers of finance and planning, and set up the $1.6 billion Forest Investment Program, which included the largest indigenous people and local communities grant mechanism in the world at the time, and has since supported the sustainable management of close to 400 million hectares of land across Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2012 and 2018, Prof. Verkooijen was also Professor of Practice of Sustainable Development Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has also worked as Special Advisor to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan, Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and as a Senior Advisor at the economic affairs, nature and agriculture ministry of the Netherlands.

A Dutch national, he holds a PhD from Wageningen University, an MPA from Harvard, a master’s in philosophy from the University of Amsterdam, and an environmental engineering degree from the University of Utrecht Applied Sciences. In 2022, Prof. Verkooijen was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Nairobi in recognition of his championing of climate resilience for Africa. He was also honored with the Green Deal Prize in the 2022 Financial Afrik Awards. He lives with his Chilean-American wife and is a proud father to several children.


  1. If You Want Our Countries to Address Climate Change, First Pause Our Debts, President William Ruto, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Akinwumi Adesina, and Patrick Verkooijen, New York Times, 8 October 2023
  2. Gender Equality Must Be at the Heart of Climate Action, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Dan Jørgensen, and Patrick Verkooijen, Newsweek, 24 August 2023
  3. Africa expects action – and funding – for climate justice, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Context, 30 March 2023
  4. It’s Time To Scale Up African Solutions for the Continent’s Food and Climate Crises, President William Ruto, Akinwumi Adesina and Patrick Verkooijen, Newsweek, 10 March 2023
  5. Bangladesh is a global pioneer in preparing for climate migrants, Patrick Verkooijen and Ban Ki-moon, Context, 15 February 2023
  6. Africa Is Doubling Down On Climate Adaptation. Here’s Why It Deserves Support, Akinwumi Adesina and Patrick Verkooijen, Newsweek, 09 September 2022
  7. G7 Should Look to Africa for Lessons in How to Manage Multiple Crises, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Patrick Verkooijen, Newsweek, 24 June 2022
  8. Climate action should not be a casualty of war in Ukraine, Patrick Verkooijen and Ban Ki-moon, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 29 April 2022
  9. Towards a Blue Peace in Africa: the Power of Adaptation, Patrick Verkooijen, Blue Peace, 19 April 2022
  10. Out of Ukraine’s war, a plan for Africa’s food security, Akinwumi Adesina & Patrick Verkooijen and Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 28 March 2022
  11. We are all Maldivians, President Mohamed Nasheed and Patrick Verkooijen, Newsweek, 17 February 2022
  12. We have a final opportunity to respond to climate change. We will take it?, Kristalina Georgieva & Patrick Verkooijen, CNBC, 13 September 2021
  13. How to prepare supply chains for the next global crisis, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Patrick Verkooijen, Fortune, 4 August 2021
  14. Germany’s floods illustrate need for urgent climate action, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Deutsche Welle, 1 August 2021
  15. The ‘wet bulb warning’, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, CNN International, 17 July 2021
  16. Making Good on the $100 Billion Climate Promise, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Newsweek, 10 June 2021
  17. Weather stations underpin effective climate action – we need more of them, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Newsweek, 22 April 2021
  18. African agriculture is ready for a digital revolution, Akinwumi Adesina & Patrick Verkooijen, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 7 April 2021
  19. Start planning for a world with a lot less water, Ban Ki-moon & Patrick Verkooijen, CNN International, 22 March 2021
  20. Climate action offers a hidden peace dividend, Patrick Verkooijen & Tawakkol Karman, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 22 February 2021
  21. We must shape the COVID recover to address climate change too, Kristalina Georgieva & Ban Ki-moon, Newsweek, 25 January 2021
  22. We must close the funding gap for climate adaptation, Ban Ki-moon & Patrick Verkooijen, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 11 December 2020
  23. The climate crisis is destroying the human rights of those least responsible for it, AK Abdul Momen and Patrick Verkooijen, The Guardian, 30 September 2021
  24. America, we’ve missed you. Now please get your act together on climate change., Ban Ki-moon & Patrick Verkooijen, The New York Times, 13 November 2020
  25. Why nature is our best ally for a post-Covid recovery, Patrick Verkooijen, The Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2020
  26. As Black Lives Matter puts injustice in spotlight, climate emergency risks new 'apartheid', Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, USA Today, 11 August 2020
  27. America needs a major infrastructure overhaul – and it must be green, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Fortune, 29 July 2020
  28. I’m bewildered that Trump would imperil America by abandoning the Paris agreement, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, The Guardian, 28 July 2020
  29. Climate change is making it harder for us to feed ourselves, Feike Sijbesma and Patrick Verkooijen, Fortune, 25 July 2019
  30. Investing in digital agriculture can help Africa beat this pandemic, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 1 July 2020
  31. Fighting cyclones and coronavirus: how we evacuated millions during a pandemic, Sheikh Hasina and Patrick Verkooijen, The Guardian, 3 June 2020
  32. Coronavirus is a warning to us all: we must heal nature in order to heal ourselves, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Huffington Post, 25 May 2020
  33. To avert a COVID-triggered famine, our global food systems need to change, Dag-Inge Ulstein and Patrick Verkooijen, Thomas Reuters, 22 May 2020
  34. Flattening the climate curve in the post-COVID world, Patrick Verkooijen, World Economic Forum, 17 April 2020
  35. Will we learn lessons for tackling climate change from our current crisis?, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, CNN International, 9 April 2020
  36. When the challenge is too much water rather than not enough, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Thomson Reuters News, 23 March 2020
  37. Fires and floods prove world leaders must act now on climate change, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, CNN International, 23 January 2020
  38. Miami needs allies in its fight to survive climate change, Francis Suarez and Patrick Verkooijen, Thomson Reuters News, 8 January 2020
  39. On Polling Day, we must set aside our political difference to save the planet, Patrick Verkooijen, The Huffington Post, 12 December 2019
  40. The Climate Crisis in Terms Trump can Understand, Patrick Verkooijen, The New York Times, 8 November 2019
  41. Nature can help us fight climate change – if we hurry, Andrew Steer and Patrick Verkooijen, Thomson Reuters News, 5 November 2019
  42. Time is running out to stop the forces driving a new climate apartheid, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, Devex, 18 October 2019
  43. The climate kids are right, Patrick Verkooijen, Project Syndicate, 11 October 2019
  44. Local communities are a test bed for adapting to climate change, Muhammad Musa and Patrick Verkooijen, Thomson Reuters News, 13 August 2019
  45. Beyond borders: why adapting to climate change should be a global endeavour, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, People’s Daily, 27 June 2019
  46. Climate change intensifies the Middle East’s cycle of conflict, Jamal Saghir and Patrick Verkooijen, The National, 21 June 2019
  47. Don’t let rising seas drown the Marshall Islands, Hilde Heine and Patrick Verkooijen, The Washington Post, 10 April 2019
  48. Climate proofing our communities, Ban Ki-moon and Patrick Verkooijen, The Boston Globe, 14 March 2019


Last modified:17 November 2023 10.24 a.m.