Zakri is the chairman of Atri Advisory, a consultancy company advising governments, regional bodies and international organisations on science, technology and innovation for sustainable development, the governance of biodiversity, and science diplomacy. He is currently pro-chancellor of Multimedia University and Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris respectively. He is a senior fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia as well as holding fellowships with The World Academy of Sciences in Trieste, Italy, the Islamic World Academy of Science in Amman, Jordan and the World Academy of Art and Science in California. He is also vice-chair, Governing Council of the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries based in Gebze, Turkey, member of the Presidential Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, and member of the Governing Board, Science and Technology for Society Forum in Kyoto.
Among his recent appointments are ambassador and science adviser to the US-based Campaign for Nature; chairman of the Business Council on Sustainable Development, Malaysia; chairman of the ASM national task force to review the Environmental Quality Act (1974); chairman of the Auckland-based International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)’s Southeast Asia Science Advice Network (SEA SAN); joint-chairmen of the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), member of the board of trustees of ALAM LESTARI and member, of the Islamabad-based OIC standing committee on S&T cooperation. Currently, he sits on the National Climate Change Action Council and National Science Council, both chaired by the Prime Minister.
Former positions that he held include as science adviser to the prime minister of Malaysia, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the President of the Islamic Development Bank. He is the founding chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He formerly served the United Nations University in Tokyo as the director of its Institute of Advanced Studies.
Zakri’s expertise lies in higher education, governance of biodiversity, science diplomacy and international relations. As a science thought-leader, he has contributed to the observation, analyses and assessment of global biodiversity and ecosystem services, fostered the remediation and protection of the natural environment and promoted environmental sustainability.
He is the author/editor of Plant Breeding and Genetic Engineering; Genetic Resources of Underutilised Plants in Malaysia; Plant Genetic Resources; Prospects in Biodiversity Prospecting; Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; Agriculture, Human Security and Global Peace: Crossroads in African Development. He is a regular columnist of the New Straits Times.
Zakri’s achievements have been recognised at various levels: national (Merdeka Award; National Academic Laureate), Regional (ASEAN Biodiversity Hero; Matsuda Award), and internationally (Zayed International Prize for the Environment; Midori Biodiversity Prize).