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06 February 2023

Professor Frans Berkhout appointed as Assistant Principal (King's Climate & Sustainability)

Professor Berkhout will lead a cross-university drive to rapidly scale King’s response to the climate emergency

Photo of Professor Frans Berkhout

Professor Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society & Climate, has been appointed Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability) to accelerate transformative multidisciplinary research and embed sustainability more deeply into King’s teaching, impact, partnerships and operations.

Professor Berkhout will work across King’s to deliver a next generation of sustainability research and teaching that moves beyond advocacy of problems towards tangible solutions to the challenge of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

To achieve this, King’s will build new connections between fields of study – including technological, socio-economic, legal, geopolitical – and create meaningful external partnerships that give a distinctive focus to its research, teaching and impact.

Under his leadership, King's will embed sustainability into the curriculum and integrate climate research into teaching across its faculties, ensuring all King’s students have access to environmental and sustainability education.

King’s has taken a bold step to embed climate and sustainability into everything we do across education, research, service and impact, through to how we operate and the decisions we make. I am thrilled to be able to play a role in enabling this deep shift and look forward to working with all parts of King’s to bring together the great work we are already doing and push on to our ambitious targets.

Professor Frans Berkhout, Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability)

Frans joined King’s in 2013 and was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy from 2015 to 2021. He has had a long and distinguished career as a leading academic voice on science, technology, policy and sustainability, specialising in climate change.

Previously Director of the Future Earth programme, based at the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Paris, and Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the VU University Amsterdam, Frans held posts at SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex, and was Director of the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Global Environmental Change and Sustainable Technologies programmes.

Amongst other advisory roles, Frans was a lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 4th and 5th Assessment Reports (2007 and 2014) and a member of the Social Science Panel of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Professor Berkhout is a respected global expert and I’m delighted that he has agreed to lead our strategic ambitions in this critical sphere as we accelerate our research, education and action in response to the huge challenge of environmental sustainability. I am looking forward to working with Frans as we drive forward this important growth area for King’s, both within the university, and externally across London, the UK and the world beyond.

Professor Rachel Mills, Senior Vice President (Academic)

Alongside his position as Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability), Frans will retain his role as Professor of Environment, Society & Climate.

In this story

Frans Berkhout

Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability)

Rachel A. Mills

Senior Vice President (Academic)