The Board of Governors of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced Tuesday (3/12) that Chief Operating Officer, Bakhtiar Talhah, will assume the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective 17 January 2020, when the contract of current CEO Darrel Webber expires.
“Bakhtiar has the full support of the Board and we are confident he will provide the organization and RSPO members with a strong sense of leadership and stability throughout this period of transition,” an RSPO announcement quoted Co-Chairs of the Board of Governors, Anne Rosenbarger and Carl Bek-Nielsen.
The Board of Governors also reassured the Secretariat and membership that all existing RSPO projects will continue under Bakhtiar’s purview and that there would be no change to the daily operations of the organization.
Bakhtiar joined the RSPO Secretariat as the Chief Operating Officer in January 2017 and has been instrumental in strengthening RSPO’s credibility through the establishment and management of RSPO’s Investigation and Monitoring Unit (IMU), the establishment of the Geographic Information System (GIS) Unit, and various other initiatives.
The holder of degrees from Princeton University and from Université Paris-Sorbonne was previously Regional Director at the Kuala Lumpur-based Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). He has also worked with various international advisory firms such as PFC Energy and Nexant specializing in downstream oil, after having started his career at Petronas. Bakhtiar actively works on public health issues in Malaysia, and currently serves in the Malaysian AIDS Council and several grassroots NGOs.
The Board of Governors also thanked Webber for his service to the RSPO as Chief Executive Officer and for all of the contributions he has given to help realize RSPO’s shared vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm.
RSPO is a multi-stakeholder organization which has the world’s most recognized palm oil sustainability standard.