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Meet the Rector

Professor Theodore Panayotou is the 1st Rector of the University of Limassol. He assumed office on 11 January 2023, the founding date of the University.

Rector Panayotou is a former faculty member at Harvard University. Crucially, he is a Nobel Prize Contributor, having authored part of the study for which the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Rector Panayotou is currently the Director of the Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM) and Professor of Economics, Ethics and Sustainability & Social Responsibility at CIIM. He has also served as a Visiting Professor at Tel Aviv University (2010-15) and as a Member of the Cyprus President’s Council of the National Economy (2013-2018).

Rector Panayotou taught Environmental Economics, Public Policy and Sustainable Development for 23 years at Harvard University (1986-2009) and served as the Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Program at the Centre for International Development at Harvard. While at Harvard, he served as an advisor to Presidents and Premiers in a score of countries around the world and as a consultant to companies, governments, the UN and the World Bank over the years. During 1978-1985, as a senior economist with the Rockefeller Foundation, New York, served as an advisor to governments and universities in Southeast Asia on sustainable economic development.

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He has published over 100 journal articles, monographs and books on economic development and the environment, climate change, sustainability and competitiveness. He is considered an authority on economic instruments, innovative financing mechanisms and transferable development rights as well as sustainable and experiential tourism.

In the early 1990s, Rector Panayotou introduced and tested the idea of an inverted-U relationship between environment degradation and economic development (known as Environmental Kuznets Curve) and explored the role of economic policies, innovation and technological change.

In the years 1995-97 leading to the Kyoto Protocol, Rector Panayotou contributed to the development of joint implementation, emissions trading, the Clean Development Mechanism, and trained hundreds of policy makers in governments and international organizations in the economics of climate change through his Climate Change Workshops at Harvard.

In the early 2000s, in cooperation with Professor Jeffrey Sachs, he estimated econometrically and valued the economic impacts of climate change on different regions of the world and proposed a scheme of Compensation for Meaningful Participation in Climate Change Control.

In 2010, he served as an advisor to the High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) of the UN Secretary General chaired by the Norwegian Prime Minister and co-authored the Group’s Report on Climate Change Financing, endorsed by the UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun in December 2010. At the same time, he served as an advisor to the COP16 host, the Government of Mexico on Climate Change Economics and Policy.

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