WMO appointed Pavel Kabat as its first chief scientist and research director in autumn 2018. He will guide the overall strategic direction of the WMO science, and its underlying research activities, including the World Climate Research Programme, the World Weather Research Programme and the Global Atmosphere Watch, which monitors greenhouse gas concentrations, air quality and the ozone layer.
Professor Kabat will maintain close interactions with WMO Members to ensure the uptake of their priorities in research and to facilitate a faster transfer of research outcomes to operations. He will also be responsible for building strategic research partnerships and coordinating active dialogue between science and operations, and promoting measures to ensure a more integrated research effort across all WMO activities. He is expected to further advance WMO contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“WMO is in the process of strengthening its interaction with weather, climate, water and related environmental science communities. The appointment of first chief scientist is emphasizing that,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “Pavel Kabat will be a great asset for WMO and its Members. His high calibre scientific and leadership skills, as well as his global networks, will contribute to the future success of WMO in serving its Members and advancing the global agenda on sustainable development, climate change mitigation and adaption, and disaster risk reduction”.
Professor Kabat is the former director general and chief executive officer of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), an independent, international, science, and science-to-policy institute. “I am delighted to join the WMO,” said Professor Kabat. “I hope to bring my experiences from IIASA on systems thinking to this new position. I also look forward to work on further building bridges between water and climate issues by actively bringing science and policy partners together. I also hope that this will trigger more collaboration between IIASA and the WMO.”
Trained as a mathematician and hydrologist, Professor Kabat’s almost-30-year research career has covered earth system science and global change, with a specific focus on land-atmosphere interactions, climate hydrology, the water cycle, and water resources.