New Faculty Member, 2020–2021
Professor of Practice
Olcay Unver comes to Arizona State University with decades of international experience in conservationism, natural resource management, sustainable development and policymaking. Across 35 years in national and international public service, Unver has led several United Nations platforms and many other administrations.
“I hope that my experience and networks help enhance the bridge between science, policy and practice at ASU,” says Unver.
Unver will take his experiences into the classroom and teach courses in water and food security, international environmental management and international environmental law. He will also help to develop new courses as the environmental and resource management, or ERM, program expands.
“I look forward to teaching my students about the diversity of social, economic and cultural settings from around the world,” Unver says, “and to discover how development and conservation issues are linked and how policies can address both.”
Two decades ago, Unver was featured by Time Magazine as a European visionary for his work in human-centered growth with programs for small farmers, gender equality and youth employment as part of a large water project. He was also featured in The New York Times for his contributions to sustainable development.
Unver also received the World Water Council special award of service and the International Water Resources Association’s millennium award. In addition, he was nominated as the public service leader of the year for three consecutive years by the agriculturist union in his home country of Turkey, among many other recognitions throughout his career.
“Perhaps my most meaningful award was given by the Agenda21 Youth Association for my efforts in inclusive socioeconomic development,” Unver says. “Agenda 21 enables Turkish youth participation in decision-making processes.”
Apart from research and teaching, Unver enjoys listening to opera and cooking.