Clinton and Gore's key environmental adviser returns to his native UK to take up UEA and Defra posts
The University of East Anglia has clinched the appointment of former White House environmental adviser Bob Watson, who takes up the post of professor of environmental sciences next month.
Professor Watson, who advised former US President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore during his time at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will direct the UEA-based Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
He will also serve as chief scientific advisor to the Government's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Professor Watson, who is British-born and was educated at Queen Mary, University of London, said that the chance to promote research at UEA and the Tyndall Centre, coupled with the opportunity to advise Defra, represented "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
He will join UEA from his present post as chief scientist at the World Bank.
Al Gore, who this week helped stage a series of Live Earth pop concerts watched by an estimated 2 billion people, commended Professor Watson on his "steadfast work". Trevor Davies, pro vice-chancellor at UEA, said: "Bob Watson is an acknowledged world expert on climate change, biodiversity and sustainability. His appointment as Defra's chief scientific adviser reflects his unparalleled expertise in so many of the environmental challenges faced by the UK and the world."
Professor Watson's appointment comes ahead of UEA's launch of the UK's first carbon management masters in business administration. The year-long course will start in January 2008 at Norwich Business School targeting businesses and non-governmental organisations.