A Letter from The Board: Changes in Leadership

St. Gallen, 1 December 2020: It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the WRF Board announces Bas de Leeuw’s departure as Managing Director of the World Resources Forum, effective November 30, 2020. Since 2011, Bas has played an important role in shaping the World Resources Forum as an independent organization, and while we will miss him and his inspiring leadership, we wish him the best of luck for his future career. We want to thank Bas for the 9 years of dedicated service which involved many significant accomplishments, including:

  • Guiding the World Resources Forum as a not-for-profit association, as a spinoff from Empa’s previously existing series of bi-annual events.
  • Spearheading the development of the WRF conference series with new innovative formats.
  • Emphasizing its global outreach through the organization of various conference editions outside Switzerland and Europe.
  • Evolving the organization towards a thriving international NGO.
  • Initiating partnerships with UN organizations and a large number of other international stakeholders.

The current COVID-19 situation and prospects for conferences and other activities worldwide has not left the WRF strategic and financial position untouched. Thanks to its strong project activities however, the outlook looks healthy provided some strategic adjustments will be taken. This is why the Board has now initiated changes to the organizational structure and has redefined the role of the Managing Director.

The WRF Board is pleased to report that Mathias Schluep has agreed to accept a new role as Managing Director. Mathias holds a Ph.D. in natural sciences and has worked in the academic and private sector in the fields of development cooperation, environmental research and general business consultancy at international level for several years. From 2006 to 2013 he has worked as a program manager and senior scientist at Empa. Mathias has joined the WRF in 2014 as Program Director and since has been responsible for broadening the WRF portfolio with research initiatives and development cooperation projects in the resource management sector.

Bruno Oberle, WRF President