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Future Earth Global Hub Directors appointed in Montreal, Paris and Tokyo

As the Future Earth Science and Engagement Committees hold their second in-person meeting, three new directors have joined the Secretariat which manages the day-to-day operations of Future Earth. They bring a broad range of experience of the projects and programmes transitioning to Future Earth, as well as knowledge of the development of the Future Earth programme and establishment of its Secretariat. 

Fumiko Kasuga has been appointed Global Hub Director for Future Earth in Tokyo, Japan. Fumiko is a Director at the National Institute of Health Sciences and a Visiting Professor of The University of Tokyo, former Vice-President of Science Council of Japan and a member of ICSU’s Committee on Scientific Planning and Review. Her research background is in public health, and in particular, microbiological food safety, and she has worked with the WHO, FAO and the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods, and in Japan with Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Food Safety Commission for microbiological risk analysis for food safety and epidemiology of foodborne diseases.

Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard is incoming Global Hub Director for the Montreal hub of Future Earth. She will take up her post on July 27th 2015, where she will oversee the activities of the Montreal hub, focusing on Synthesis and Foresight and general coordination, as well as the overall activities of Future Earth as part of the Secretariat Executive Team. Anne-Hélène was previously director of DIVERSITAS, the international programme of biodiversity science, which transitioned to Future Earth at the end of 2014. Her research background is in ecology and evolutionary biology, specializing in plant diversity and resistance to invasion by exotic species. She first joined DIVERSITAS in 2001 as Science Officer, rising to Director in 2013. Her role was to oversee all the research and science-policy activities of DIVERSITAS and the transition of DIVERSITAS into Future Earth.

Thorsten Kiefer has been appointed Global Hub Director for the Paris hub of Future Earth. He will start on September 1st, 2015. Thorsten is currently Executive Director of the Past Global Changes project PAGESwhich is transitioning from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme into Future Earth. Thorsten’s research background is in ocean sciences. He earned his PhD in the field of paleoceanography in 1997 from the University of Kiel, Germany. He continued studying past oceanographic and climatic changes from deep-sea sediments as a researcher in Kiel and at the University of Cambridge, UK. With the move to the PAGES International Project Office in Bern, Switzerland, in 2005, his professional scope expanded widely across the fields of climatic and environmental change and towards international science management. In addition, he serves the open-access journal Climate of the Past as a co-chief editor. After a full decade as executive lead of PAGES, Thorsten is now taking over directorship of the Paris hub, with the main responsibilities of co-managing activities on Synthesis & Foresight and on Capacity Building in Future Earth.

We are delighted to welcome Fumiko, Anne-Hélène and Thorsten to Future Earth. All will become members of the Secretariat Executive Team, where they will work closely with Executive Director Paul Shrivastava to take forward the programme to full operation. They will also work alongside the Global Hub Directors currently being recruited for the Stockholm and Colorado hubs of Future Earth.