I am truly honored to be selected as START’s next Executive Director. In my 12 years with START, I have repeatedly witnessed the uniqueness and value that START brings to its mission of advancing global change science capacities. START’s value comes in part through its close collaboration with African and Asian partners in designing programs that ensure relevance and impact. Our strong dedication to the ethos of using capacities within the region to build new capacities for the region has been key to producing effective and sustained results across Africa and Asia.
START’s value also derives from the ways in which we design programs to integrate scientific and practitioner knowledge and to generate actionable research for better informed decision making. The need for integrated approaches is greater now than ever given the increasing complexity and interconnectedness of emerging sustainability challenges: START has the expertise and track record to ensure continuing innovation in how we address capacity development needs in complex systems.
Going forward, I am fully committed to continuing START’s longstanding regional and global partnerships and to forging new partnerships that expand the reach of START’s science capacity development efforts. I am fortunate to be building on a strong foundation of START leadership from past Executive Directors, from which I will further advance START’s unique contribution to global change science in Africa and Asia. I look forward to strongly engaging START’s large and diverse alumni network, as they are an important resource for ensuring that investments in science capacity development are relevant, effective and durable. Lastly, I am grateful for the continued long-term support of START from the United States Global Change Research Program, which ensures our continued positive impact in global change science.