Professor Kabat is director general and chief executive officer of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), an independent, international, science, and science-to-policy institute. IIASA has 24 member countries, nearly 400 international staff, and a global research network of around 2,500 scholars and over 600 partner institutions. Professor Kabat is also full professor of Earth System Science at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, founding chair and director of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and Arts Institute for Integrated Research on the Wadden Sea Region (the Wadden Academy), a member of the Leadership Council for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and co-founder of the high-level Alpbach – Laxenburg Group. The latter brings global leaders from academia, governments, businesses, and civil society together to support and advocate for sustainable transitions and sustainable development.
Trained as a mathematician and hydrologist, Professor Kabat’s almost-30-year research career has covered earth system science and global change, with a specific focus on land-atmosphere interactions, climate hydrology, the water cycle, and water resources.
He is an author and coauthor of over 300 refereed publications (including 9 books), a member of 3 international editorial boards, and (co)editor of numerous special issues of peer-reviewed international journals. He has also contributed as lead author and review editor to the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Other academic and societal awards and distinctions received by Professor Kabat include the Zayed International Prize for the Environment (which was awarded to all the experts who worked on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005), and several honorary degrees, professorships, memberships, and distinguished fellowships internationally.
In 2013, Professor Kabat was honored by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix Knight with the Order of the Netherlands Lion, a national order of chivalry founded in 1815 by King William I, which recognizes excellence in the arts, science, sport, and literature.