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Personal profile

Personal profile

Maarten van Aalst is Director General and Chief Science Officer of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). He is full professor of Climate and Disaster Resilience at the University of Twente's Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), with several PhD students working on climate risk management across time and spatial scales.

Prof van Aalst is a member of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change and was Coordinating Lead Author at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (AR6, AR5 and SREX). He is a Trustee at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Before coming to KNMI in February 2023, Prof van Aalst was director of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and held the Prinses Margriet Chair in Climate and Disaster Resilience at ITC. He was also adjoint Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University in New York, and worked on climate risk management with, among others, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, UNDP and OECD. He acted as expert on various bodies of UNFCCC, UNDRR and the UN Secretary General’s climate team. Prof van Aalst holds a PhD in atmospheric physics and chemistry from Utrecht University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Dynamics and Transport in the Stratosphere : Simulations with a General Circulation Model, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (IMAU)


Award Date: 20 Jan 2005

External positions

Director General and Chief Science Officer, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

1 Feb 2023 → …

adjoint Senior Research Scientist, Columbia University

… → 31 Jan 2023

Director, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre

… → 31 Jan 2023


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