On June 21, 2017 Pope Francis appointed German Joachim von Braun, 66, President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Expert in food security, he is Professor of Economics and Technological Innovation and Director of the Research Center for Development, of the University of Bonn, Germany.
According to the biography published by the Vatican, von Braun holds a Research Doctorate in Agronomy. He is the author of numerous publications on international economic development, the economy of natural resources, poverty, agricultural policy, scientific and technological innovation policies and international commerce.
Considered one of the principal experts on the problems of hunger and malnutrition, he has received several awards, notably for research on food security.
In the course of his career, von Braun was Director of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) whose headquarters are in Washington (U.S.) from 2002 to 2009. Since 2009, he is Director of the Research Center for Economic and Social Development (ZEF) of the University of Bonn and President of a number of international and European Consultative Councils.
He was also rapporteur at the World Economic Forum of Davos and took part in several events promoted by the United Nations. He is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Rhenanie of the North-Westphalia region and of the American Association for the Development of the Sciences.
Founded in 1603, the mission of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is to promote research and the progress of science. It is made up of a President, a Council of 80 members — “academicians” of all nations and all religions appointed for life by the Pope.