Adil Najam poses for a photo on September 27,2021. He is stepping down as dean of the Pardee School at the end of the school year but remaining on the faculty. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University

Adil Najam continues to teach international relations & earth and environment while serving as Dean Emeritus of Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.

Dr. Adil Najam, a highly esteemed academic and policy expert, has been named the new president of WWF International. Neville Isdell, who served as President ad interim for 13 months while a permanent replacement was sought, steps down at the beginning of July.

Dr. Najam takes his place. Leading public scholar Dr. Adil Najam focuses his teaching, research, and public engagement on global public policy issues, particularly those connected to the environment and conservation, sustainable and human development, and climate change in the Global South.

“Adil Najam is an exceptional candidate to serve as President of the WWF International Board. He is well-known among international policy makers as a trailblazing thinker and a very powerful expert.”

“He also has extensive knowledge of the WWF network, having previously spent eight years as a trustee on the International Board. With his return, I am confident that WWF will continue to gain from his priceless expertise and experience,” according to Mr. Isdell.

Adil Najam continues to teach international relations and earth and environment while serving as Dean Emeritus of Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.

He previously held the positions of Director of the Boston University Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore, Pakistan. Additionally, Dr. Najam has taught at MIT and Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

He has authored more than 100 scholarly papers and book chapters, and he served as the lead author for the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dr. Najam previously served on numerous boards, including those of the Luc Hoffmann Institute and the South Asian Network of Development and Environment Economics as chair.

He was a trustee on the international board of WWF International from 2011 to 2019. He has frequently advised governments all over the world as well as NGOs and international organisations.

He was appointed by the UN Secretary General to the Committee for Development Policy in February 2009, and the Pakistani President presented him with the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence), one of Pakistan’s highest civil honours, in 2010.

Adil’s extensive experience, knowledge, and passion are essential to WWF’s mission to halt the deterioration of the planet’s natural environment and to create a future in which people live in harmony with nature, according to Kirsten Schuijt, director general of WWF International.

In order to meet the needs of our network and to truly impact conservation, I look forward to collaborating closely with Adil and the Board. Neville has served as President ad interim with incredible dedication and commitment, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of my WWF International coworkers for everything he has done to support the WWF network.

Dr. Najam’s appointment comes after Neville Isdell’s 13-month stint as president-in-waiting, beginning on June 1, 2022. “I am deeply humbled to be invited to serve as the next President of WWF at a time when its long-standing mission of working to heal and sustain the natural world and its life-supporting systems has become more urgent than ever,” Adil Najam said in a statement.

“I feel incredibly privileged to be able to collaborate with committed “pandas” once more, including members, partners, experts, and colleagues whose commitment to building a just, equitable, and sustainable world for all of humanity and the environment has always served as an enormous source of inspiration for me.”

The first of July 2023 marks Dr. Najam’s transition into the presidency. Up to two successive four-year terms as president are allowed. The position of president is open to both internal and external candidates, as well as board members.

The President also serves as the chair of Council of WWF International, an advisory body made up of the chairs of the national organisations that make up the WWF network and which also serves as the body that selects candidates for the International Board.