Obituary: Professor Richard Samson Odingo

It is with great sadness that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has learnt of the death of the former IPCC Vice-Chair, Professor Richard Samson Odingo, who passed away on 12 June at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

Professor Richard Odingo was the Vice-Chair of the IPCC during the third and fourth assessment cycles. He also served the IPCC in other capacities including as Review Editor on the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports and as a Contributing Author on the Working Group II contribution to the First Assessment Report.

In a condolence message to friends and family of Dr Odingo, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned Odingo as a Kenyan scientist who helped raise the country’s profile internationally through his contributions to global action against climate change.

“Many people across the world know Prof Odingo as a highly accomplished climate change scientist and scholar who helped steer United Nations efforts to tackle climate change for over a decade,” said President Kenyatta.

 “As a country, we appreciate that the international community recognized the work of the great Kenyan scholar and gave him the platform to share his research work and experience, in the process raising Kenya’s profile globally,” he added.

Born in March 1935, Dr Odingo, earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Liverpool in 1963. He started his academic career as a Lecturer at Makerere University College in Uganda. In 1965 he took up a position at the University of Nairobi where he rose to become a full Professor in 1987. His research interests included agricultural geography, climatology, environmental remote sensing and geographic information systems. He served his country in many different capacities including as Chairman of Kenya’s National Climate Change Activities Coordination Committee.

Professor Odingo will be greatly missed not only in his country but by the wider scientific community in Africa and the world.