Founding Director and Executive Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies IASS, Potsdam, Germany
Professor Dr. Klaus Töpfer is the Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, having previously served as Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, and as Under Secretary General of the United Nations.
In the national political field, he held the positions of German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (1987 to 1994,) and of Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Civil Engineering, and Urban Development (1994 to 1998). He is also a member of the Bundestag.
Professor Töpfer’s current engagement includes serving as Vice President of the German World Hunger Organization, as senator of the Helmholtz Association for Earth and Environment, and in 2011 he co-chaired the Ethics Commission on Safe Energy Supply.
Prof. Töpfer holds a doctorate degree from the Central Institute for Regional Planning at Mainz University, and has received numerous honors and awards including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and the German Sustainability Award in 2008.