Gary Kass

Vice President

Gary Kass is Visiting Professor in the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at the University Surrey and Visiting Professor of Sustainability Policy and Practice at Royal Holloway, University of London.  He is an environmental and sustainability scientist and knowledge broker, with over 35 years’ practice, working at the interface of science and policy, with keen interests in handling uncertainty, fostering inter-and transdisciplinary approaches, and promoting futures, systems and values thinking.  Gary started his career as a government air quality scientist before moving to private practice as a consultant, working on a wide range of projects for clients in the UK and overseas.  He joined the public sector in 1995 as Head of the Environment and Energy programme at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and became Head of Public Engagement with Science and Technology within the UK Government.  Gary joined Natural England in 2007 served as Deputy Chief Scientist between 2014 and 2022 and Defra deputy Chief Scientific Adviser in 2016; and most recently served as Deputy Director for Foresight and Innovation.  He has recently been appointed as a member of the Office for Environmental Protection College of Experts and a member of the Natural England Science Advisory Committee Social Science Expert Panel.  Gary has also worked widely in academia, including serving on the Natural Environment Research Council’s Innovation Advisory Board and the Research Excellence Framework Geography and Environmental Studies sub-panel in 2014 and 2021, focusing particularly on impact and policy relevance.  Gary held a Fellowship at the University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy and is currently a Vice-President of the Institution of Environmental Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Gary joined the IES in 2013, became a Fellow in 2014, and joined the IES Council in the same year. "I am keen to...take an active role in driving up the standards of science and knowledge exchange in evidence-based approaches to policy and decision-making. I have a particular interest in interdisciplinary, systems-based approaches to applying science to environment and sustainability challenges and to this end... The IES can reach widely across the environmental sciences and across the academic, practitioner, policy-maker divides, helping to move environmental sciences forward and maximise the chances of achieving impact in tackling real-world issues."

Gary was elected Vice Chair in 2015 and served as Chair between 2018 and 2021.  In 2021 he was elected Vice President in recognition of his service to the IES.