Professor Hans Hurni is Founding President of the Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern. His areas of professional focus include: natural resource management; sustainable development appraisal; soil erosion process assessments; soil and water conservation experimentation; and nature conservation.
Professor Hurni served as Co-Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research North-South from 2001 to 2013, during which he engaged in research partnerships for mitigating syndromes of global change. He was a member of the Swiss delegation to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, "Rio+20" in 2012. Since 2011, he has led the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in supporting Water and Land Resource Centres in the Horn of Africa and East Africa.
The lead author of Global Chapter 1 of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (2005–2008), Professor Hurni has also been Editor-in-Chief of Mountain Research and Development since 2012; and is Associate Chief Editor of International Soil and Water Conservation Research.
Professor Hurni is a member of UCA's Mountain Societies Research Institute Thinking Group, which provides support and oversight to the Institute.