Rolph Payet

University of Surrey

Business Administration

Country of Origin:

Study Destination:
United Kingdom

Year of Graduation:

Year inducted into Hall of Fame:

Rolph Payet

Dr Rolph Payet is the first and current President and Vice-Chancellor of the Univeristy of Seychelles.  He  is an international policy expert, researcher and speaker on environment, climate and island issues.  He was Minister of Environment and Energy in the Cabinet of Seychelles from 2012 to 2014. He is currently United Nations Executive Secretary for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention.

Payet was born in Seychelles. As young boy he dreamed of becoming a scientist. He attended Seychelles College, then Mont Fleuri School, completed two years of National Youth Service in Seychelles (1985–1986). He completed his Cambridge O/A-levels at the Seychelles Polytechnic in December 1988, where he was awarded the most outstanding science student. He grew up falling in love with the environment, and after numerous expeditions to islands such as Cerf and Silhouette, decided on a career in environment.

He was educated at the University of East Anglia (BSc Biochemistry, 1992), University of Surrey (MBA), University of Ulster (MSc) and the University of London, from which he holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Environmental Economics. He also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He received his PhD from Linnaeus University in Sweden in Environmental Science, where he undertook multidisciplinary research in sustainable tourism.

Payet was a joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as a member of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. An advisor on the Environment to the President of Seychelles, Dr Payet continues to work towards advancing issues on climate change and biodiversity. His work on global oceans and island policy has achieved international recognition and he has been invited personally by the UN Secretary General to address a high level panel at the UN General Assembly.  

Rolph has received numerous international awards and recognition for his work on islands, climate change and biodiversity.Rolph is known for his ability to bring together the various disciplines - natural science, economics and business - to innovate solutions for environmental problems. His research in sustainable tourism and climate change continue to benefit numerous tourism developments in Seychelles and elsewhere.

Rolph is a lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was involved with the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports. The IPCC was jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and the contribution to the IPCC of many scientists was acknowledged.

Rolph has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and one book.

In 2007, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for his contributions to marine research.

In January 2007, Rolph was selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.