GRP Leadership Transition

Nathanial Matthews, CEO of GRP, shares an update about the next step in his career journey.

Written by: Nathanial Matthews

 Dear Partners in Resilience, 

I write to share news of a significant personal transition. After nearly seven and a half wonderful years, I will be stepping down from my role at GRP at the end of May. I am embarking on a new journey as CEO of PlanetaryX, an organization dedicated to enhancing biodiversity conservation through innovative technology and building collaborations between the private sector, policymakers, and local communities. 

Back in 2014 when the Rockefeller Foundation invited me to contribute to the establishment of GRP’s Regional Hubs as part of my role with the CGIAR, I had no idea the spectacular journey I would embark on as a result. When I formally joined GRP at the beginning of 2017, I was still relatively new to the resilience discourse, however, I quickly realised the imperative of this approach to create opportunities for people and ecosystems to thrive under increasing uncertainty, within planetary boundaries. 

Resilience is a word that is easily said, but more challenging to implement, measure, and scale especially because it is often context specific. We at GRP have always believed that effectively engaging, implementing and supporting resilience can only be done through substantive partnerships. Throughout my tenure at GRP, I have been extremely fortunate to receive invaluable support from many friends amongst the wonderful GRP Partners, the Advisory Council, the wider climate community, and the supportive donors who are all striving towards the same goal of transforming to a just and sustainable world. Thank you! 

During my time at GRP, I’m immensely proud that as a small organisation our challenge funds, which are ongoing, have benefited millions of individuals and thousands of organizations. GRP is continuing to play a pivotal role in positioning resilience as a fundamental component of climate action, paralleling mitigation efforts. This includes critical contributions to the establishment of the Race to Resilience Campaign, the Resilience Hub at COP, the climate resilient pathway of the Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action, the PREPARE Call to Action for the Private Sector, The Resilience Evidence Coalition, the advancement of the Locally Led Adaptation Principles and much more. Our support to local partners, the trust they place in us, the friendships we’ve formed, and the significant impact they achieve with limited resources give me great hope for the future. 

None of these achievements would have been possible without the outstanding GRP Secretariat. This wonderful group of dedicated professionals has poured their hearts and souls into making GRP what it is today. We have grown together, and they have supported me to guide them, and helped me to become a stronger leader. For that I will always be grateful. 

I am also thankful to GRP donors who have continued to support the great work of the Partnership over the years as we have grown from strength to strength. I am especially grateful to the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) for its unwavering support and for lending us its significant science strength. This special partnership with SRC has been fundamental to our success to date and will be fundamental to GRP’s future. 

Before I depart, there are some key tasks to move forward including launching GRP’s 2024-2029 Strategy, holding our virtual Partners meeting, and unveiling a revised Partnership model that will help drive GRP’s impact into the coming years. Please stay tuned! 

Soon we will share more details regarding the passing of the baton to the next leader of GRP. I encourage those deeply familiar with GRP’s vision and values and interested in delivery of its current phase to suggest potential leaders for this important, exciting, and fulfilling role. 

Though my role is changing, my commitment to the climate and biodiversity sectors and communities on the ground remains stronger than ever. I look forward to continuing to engage with the many friends that I have met during my time at GRP and beyond. I am excited to share insights and developments from my new vantage point at PlanetaryX – more details in the coming months! 

Warm regards, 

Nathanial Matthews

CEO, The Global Resilience Partnership