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Ruben Zondervan to step down as Executive Director

After more than 12 years with the Earth System Governance Project, Ruben Zondervan steps down as Executive Director of its International Project Office by 1 August 2019.

Over the last year, Ruben has overseen the management of the launch of the new Science and Implementation Plan of the Project, the installment of a new Scientific Steering Committee, and the move of the International Project Office from Lund University to its new premises at Utrecht University. This moment of consolidation of a new phase is hence ideal for the executive director to hand over the management of the Project to the next generation.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to have been involved with the Earth System Governance Project from its inception in early 2007, and to have contributed to its development from a classic but ambitious research project into a dynamic and thriving international network of people and institutions”, says Ruben Zondervan.

The Earth System Governance Project expresses its immense gratitude to Ruben Zondervan for his 12 years of service for the Project, from the first fledgling years in 2007 to its current strong position. Ruben will take his extensive experience, knowledge and networks to now work as an independent advisor on science-policy, research management and governance, and continue supporting the administration of the Earth System Governance Foundation.

Starting 1 August 2019, Gustav Thungren, who has gained substantial project experience as assistant manager of the 2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance and as project officer with the Earth System Governance International Project Office at Utrecht, will serve as interim Executive Director for six months. He can be reached at After the summer break, the Earth System Governance Project will announce an international open call for the position of Executive Director, based at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences.

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