2017/10/31 Dresden, Germany
Dresden, 31 October 2017 – Dr Reza Ardakanian, Founding Director of the United Nations University Institute for the Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), was confirmed on Sunday, 29 October 2017, by the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) as Minister of Energy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“UNU is proud that Dr Ardakanian will be taking up this important and challenging portfolio in Iran with the support and trust of his home government,” said UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General Dr David Malone. “We have no doubt that in returning to the service of his country, he will achieve great results for the country and the people of Iran.”
Ardakanian, who became the first Director of UNU-FLORES in 2012, played a key role in establishing the Institute. Under his leadership, UNU-FLORES has become a thought leader in the field of environmental resource management by founding ground-breaking programmes to support global sustainability efforts. Ardakanian also established the Institute as an internationally recognised hub for state-of-the-art research and training on the Nexus Approach to managing water, soil, and waste.
“Through hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence, Dr Ardakanian nurtured UNU-FLORES to its professional maturity and transformed it into a globally recognised centre of excellence on the Nexus Approach,” said Rattan Lal, Professor of Soil Science at Ohio State University and Chair of the UNU-FLORES Advisory Committee. “He has strengthened its foundation, steered it on the path of scientific achievements, and enhanced its prestige among UNU and other global institutions.”
“Reza’s visionary leadership is also noticed by the Government of Iran. It is not surprising that President Hassan Rouhani personally invited him to accept the nomination for the cabinet position of Minister of Energy, which is a testament to his success as the Founding Director of UNU-FLORES. He accepted this nomination knowing the Institute has a strong foundation.”
Ardakanian oversaw the negotiation and launch of the first-ever Joint PhD Programme in the Integrated Management of Water, Soil, and Waste, a collaboration between UNU and the Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden). The programme, which began in October 2014, has so far brought 10 PhD researchers from all over the world to Dresden. Under Ardakanian’s leadership, UNU-FLORES initiated Cooperation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with several leading research institutes, federal ministries, NGOs, and other UN entities across all major continents.
Ardakanian leaves after more than 10 years of service to UNU and many more to the United Nations. Before joining UNU-FLORES, he served as Director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (hosted by UNU) from 2007, and as UNU Vice-Rector in Europe from 2009–2011. He also served on the boards of various international programmes/organisations, such as UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, the UNESCO Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE), the International Hydropower Association, and the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security.
Communications and Advocacy Officer
Tel: + 49 351 8921 9377
Fax: + 49 351 8921 9389