Posted on 03 April 2023
Globally renowned academic and policy expert, Dr Adil Najam, has been named as the new President of WWF International
Gland, Switzerland (Monday 3 April 2023) – Globally renowned academic and policy expert, Dr Adil Najam, has been named as the new President of WWF International. Dr Najam replaces outgoing President ad interim, Neville Isdell, who steps down at the beginning of July after serving 13 months while the search for a permanent candidate was undertaken.
Dr Adil Najam is a leading public scholar whose teaching, research and public engagement focuses on issues of global public policy especially those related to conservation and environment, sustainable and human development, and climate change in the Global South.
“Adil Najam is an outstanding individual to take on the role of President of WWF’s International Board. He is well-known as a pioneering thinker and highly influential expert amongst global policy makers. In addition he has a deep understanding of the WWF network, having previously served as a trustee on the International Board for eight years. With his return, I have no doubt that WWF will continue to benefit from his invaluable knowledge and experience,” said Mr Isdell.
Adil Najam is Dean Emeritus of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and continues as Professor of International Relations and of Earth and Environment. He previously served as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore, Pakistan and as the Director of the Boston University Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. Dr Najam has also taught at MIT and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
He was a lead author for the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and has written over 100 scholarly papers and book chapters. Dr Najam is a former Trustee of the International Board of WWF International (2011-2019) and has served on multiple other Boards including as Chair of the Luc Hoffmann Institute and South Asian Network of Development and Environment Economics. He has frequently served as advisor to international organisations and NGOs, and to governments across the world.
In February 2009 he was appointed to the Committee for Development Policy by the United Nations Secretary General, and in 2010 he was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence), one of Pakistan’s highest civil awards by the President of Pakistan.
Kirsten Schuijt, Director General of WWF International, said: “Adil’s vast experience, knowledge and passion are crucial to WWF’s mission to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. I look forward to working closely with Adil and the Board to serve the needs of our network and to deliver true conservation impact.
“On behalf of my colleagues at WWF International, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Neville for his incredible dedication and commitment as President ad interim, and for all he has done in support of the WWF network.”
Dr Najam’s appointment follows a 13-month tenure by Neville Isdell, who served as President ad interim from 1 June 2022.
Adil Najam commented: “I am greatly humbled to be invited to become the next President of WWF at a time when its long-standing mission of working to heal and sustain the natural world and its life-supporting systems has become more urgent than ever. I am deeply honoured to be able to work again with dedicated ‘pandas’ all across the world – members, partners, experts, and colleagues – whose dedication and commitment to creating a just, fair and sustainable planet for all its people and for nature has always been a source of great inspiration for me.”
Dr Najam will begin his new role as President on 1 July 2023.
Notes to editors
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The President may serve up to two consecutive four-year terms. External candidates, as well as Board members, are eligible to stand for the seat of President. The President also chairs WWF International’s Council, an advisory body constituted of the Chairs of the Boards of the national entities that constitute the WWF network, and which is also the Nominations body for the International Board.