Leadership Profiles

Access short bios and downloadable portrait photos of the UNU-EHS director and academic section heads.

  • Jakob RhynerProf. Dr. Jakob Rhyner Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner is the Vice-Rector for United Nations University in Europe and the Director of the United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). As the only Vice-Rector outside of the UNU headquarters in Japan, Prof. Rhyner supports the worldwide institutional development of UNU, particularly in Europe and Africa. In his role as the Director of UNU-EHS, Prof. Rhyner provides the strategic direction for all research and educational activities of the institute which is focused on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change. Prof. Rhyner is a professor at the Agricultural Faculty of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn and he holds PhD in Theoretical Physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.A national of Switzerland, Prof. Rhyner speaks fluent English, German, French and advanced Swedish and Norwegian.Full Profile of Prof. Dr. Jakob RhynerDownload profile picture
  • Fabrice RenaudDr. Fabrice Renaud Dr. Fabrice Renaud is a Senior Scientist at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), where he leads the Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services Section. He holds a PhD in Agronomy (Soil Physics) from the University of Arkansas and has more than 15 years of research experience on the environmental component of vulnerability, risk and resilience of social-ecological systems exposed to environmental hazards. Dr. Renaud develops and oversees projects on the environmental dimension of vulnerability; ecosystem services in the context of disaster risk reduction; the resilience of social-ecological systems to external shocks; water pollution and human and ecosystem exposure to such pollution; and land degradation processes particularly in the context of climate change. Dr Renaud lectures at multiple institutes in Bonn, South Africa and Indonesia and also supervises a group of PhD students at UNU-EHS. Since August 2013 he has been based in Jakarta, Indonesia where he is developing institutional ties between UNU-EHS and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. A national of France, Dr. Renaud also speaks English and Spanish.Full profile of Dr. Fabrice RenaudDownload profile picture
  • Matthias GarschagenDr. Matthias Garschagen Dr. Matthias Garschagen is a Senior Scientist at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), where he leads the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning Section. He is an international expert on urban vulnerability, social resilience and climate change adaptation, particularly in Asia and earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Cologne. Dr. Garschagen has a leading role in multiple international research projects and has served as a contributing author to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. Dr. Garschagen holds multiple teaching appointments, including at the University of Cologne and the University of Maastricht and also supervises several PhD students at UNU-EHS. He has over eight years of experience in research and has conducted numerous field research projects, for example, in Vietnam, India and Indonesia. A national of Germany, Dr. Garschagen is also fluent in English.Full profile of Dr. Matthias GarschagenDownload profile picture
  • Jakob RhynerProf. Dr. Jörg Szarzynski Prof. Dr. Jörg Szarzynski is the Education Programme Director and Head of the EduSphere section at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). He oversees all educational programmes at UNU-EHS, including the Joint Master (M.Sc.) “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn. Prof. Dr. Szarzynski holds a PhD in Physical Geography and Atmospheric Sciences from the Universities in Mannheim and Göttingen. He has broad expertise in climatology and remote sensing, global environmental change and sustainable development research, disaster management, capacity-building, and web-based data and information management. He lectures in multiple national and international seminars and training courses for Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management, currently in Europe, in West and Southern Africa, and in Indonesia. His research interests focus on intercultural training and innovative education concepts, the use of geospatial information technology for disaster risk reduction and emergency response preparedness, early warning systems, and disaster assessment and coordination within the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism and the United Nations System. A national of Germany, Prof. Dr. Jörg Szarzynski also speaks English, French and Spanish.Full profile of Prof. Dr. Jörg SzarzynskiDownload profile picture