Dr. Kazuhiko Takemoto of Japan is the inaugural Director of UNU-IAS. He brings to the position some four decades of comprehensive experience in environmental policy development and research management, and as an international environmental diplomat.
Since 2010, Dr. Takemoto has worked with the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies as a Senior Fellow and Programme Director, overseeing the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and International Satoyama Initiative (ISI) and the Institute’s Operating Unit Ishikawa / Kanazawa (OUIK). He has also acted as Programme Leader of the Fukushima Global Communication programme of the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace.
Prior to joining UNU, Dr. Takemoto held a variety of environment-related positions in the Japanese Government, most recently serving (2008–2010) as Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). In that role, he was responsible for developing national strategies for international negotiations on global environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and trans-boundary air pollution.
Dr. Takemoto previously had served in MOE as Director-General of the Environment Management Bureau (2005–2008), Deputy Director-General of the Global Environment Bureau (2003–2005), and Director of the Waste Management Division (2002–2003). Before that, he worked in MOE’s predecessor, the Environment Agency, in various posts, as well as with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA, Austria; 1995–1996), The World Bank (1989–1992), and the Shizuoka Prefectural Government (1980–1982). He also has served as Vice-Chair of the OECD Environmental Policy Committee, as Co-Chair of the Ministerial Round Table of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and as Director of the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN).
Dr. Takemoto holds a PhD degree from The University of Tokyo and a Master of International Public Policy degree from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.