At UCT a Pro Vice-Chancellor is responsible for strengthening and raising the profile (both internally and externally) of a particular major strategic area or initiative that crosses faculty and departmental boundaries.
They do this by lending it central institutional support, providing academic leadership, fostering co-operation between and communicating with internal and external stakeholders, and by creating synergies between key areas of community interest and the existing research strengths of UCT, as well as by leading fundraising efforts in regard to the initiative.
Professor Mark New is the Pro Vice-Chancellor and director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI).
New acts on behalf of the vice-chancellor's office to provide enhanced academic leadership around the strategic goal of addressing the climate and development challenges of Africa from an African perspective, and he takes the lead in facilitating and substantially extending climate research at UCT, as well as continuing his own research.
Professor New graduated from UCT with a BSc Geology in 1986 and completed his honours the following year. He received an MPhil in Environment and Development from Cambridge University in 1992 and a PhD in Geography (Climate Change and Hydrology) from the same institution in 1998.
Over the last 12 years, New was involved in two outstanding Masters programmes at Oxford University's School of Geography and Environment: as a lecturer on the MSc in Environmental Change and Management, which has a strong climate change science and policy focus, and from 1995 as Academic Director of the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management. He successfully supervised a number of doctoral students.
He has an international reputation and track record and has attracted significant external funding for large research programmes.
His research and consulting expertise in climate change, especially with respect to development in Africa, spans key interlinked areas of climate science: climate monitoring, climate modelling, impacts assessment, especially with regard to water, and adaptation. In addition to cutting edge research in the United Kingdom, New also has experience of climate and development issues through work in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and South America.
New also has a wide range of experience and professional training in communicating with stakeholders who range from lay public, through to media organisations, NGOs, industry and government agency professionals and government departments.