Prof. Dr. Patrick V. Verkooijen

Chief Executive Officer
Global Center on Adaptation

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.

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.