To compete and thrive in the 21st century, democracies, and the United States in particular, must develop new national security and economic strategies that address the geopolitics of information. In the 20th century, market capitalist democracies geared infrastructure, energy, trade, and even social policy to protect and advance that era’s key source of power—manufacturing. In this century, democracies must better account for information geopolitics across all dimensions of domestic policy and national strategy.
On January 27, 2021 United States (U.S.) President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order (EO) Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, outlining a starting point for “putting the climate crisis at the center of U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security.” Highlighting the role of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the EO included a mandate that the Director of National Intelligence prepare a formal intelligence assessment on the national security and economic impacts of climate change within 120 days. It is clear from these directives that climate change is at the forefront of this administration’s foreign policy and national security strategy and that the IC will play a critical part of the mission.
But it’s not just the U.S. -- governments around the world are also recognizing climate change as a serious security risk. As the climate crisis is increasingly viewed through a security lens, international intelligence agencies will be required to play a larger role in monitoring, assessing, and mitigating the threats posed by climate change. This presents new opportunities for intelligence sharing and collaboration among nations.
It is essential for the U.S. policy and security communities, international partners, as well as the general public, to understand how and why intelligence must play a leading role in addressing climate security risks. Therefore, the purpose of this conference is to: (1) Inform public policy about the threat of climate change to national and international security (2) Assess the role of the U.S. intelligence community in mitigating the risks of climate change and (3) Explore innovative ways that international intelligence communities can collectively address the climate crisis.
Friday, April 23rd
|12:00-12:15pm EST||Welcome and Introductions|
|12:15-1:15pm EST||An Overview of Climate Change as a Threat to International Security|
|1:30-2:30pm EST||The Role of Intelligence in Addressing Climate Change|
|2:45-3:45pm EST||Looking Forward: The Future of Intelligence Cooperation & Climate Change|
|4:00-4:50pm EST||The Private Sector View of the Climate Threat|
|5:00-5:30pm EST||Keynote Remarks|
Welcome & Opening Remarks (12:00-12:15pm)
Paul Kolbe, Director, Intelligence Project
Kristin Wood, Belfer Center Non-Resident Fellow
Erin Sikorsky, Deputy Director, Center for Climate and Security
Session 1: An Overview of Climate Change as a Threat to International Security (12:15-1:15pm)
Overview: The first panel will provide an overview of the different climate threats impacting national and international security and provoke discussion on the importance of treating climate change as a national security threat.
Dr. John Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Co- Director of the School's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Faculty Affiliate in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist and Advisory Board member at the Center for Climate and Security, Chair of the Board at the Council on Strategic Risks, Secretary General of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, and Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s Polar Institute and Environmental Change and Security Program.
Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn, United States Navy (Retired), Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment
Moderated by Kristin Wood, Intelligence Project Non-Resident Fellow and Former Deputy Director of the Innovation & Technology Group at the CIA's Open Source Center
Session 2: The Role of Intelligence in Addressing Climate Change (1:30-2:30pm)
Overview: The second panel will examine the role of the IC as part of the whole of government effort to combat the climate crisis. The panelists will discuss how existing IC collection, analysis, relationships, and policy tools can, are, and should be used to assess and mitigate the imminent and long-term risks of climate change.
The Honorable Sue Gordon, Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
Dr. Rod Schoonover, Founder and CEO of the Ecological Futures Group and former Director of Environment and Natural Resources at the National Intelligence Council (NIC)
John Lombardi, Associate Deputy Director for Mission Integration, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Moderated byErin Sikorsky, Deputy Director for the Center for Climate and Security, Director of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, and former Deputy Director of the Strategic Futures Group on the National Intelligence Council (NIC)
Session 3: Looking Forward: The Future of Intelligence Cooperation and Climate Change (2:45-3:45pm)
Overview: The globalized nature of the climate crisis requires a new conception of multilateral security cooperation. The third panel will address different strategies and ideas for using intelligence cooperation to address climate change in an open, international, and transparent way.
Carol Dumaine, Non Resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Former Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence,Department of Energy
Lt. Gen. Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead for the UK Ministry of Defence
Moderated by Caitlin Chase, Intelligence Project Coordinator
Session 4: The Private Sector View of the Climate Threat (4:00-4:50pm)
Overview: The final panel will provide participants with the private sector perspective of climate threats to international security and how they are monitoring and adapting. Panelists will include representatives from across industries to discuss how their companies are thinking about, mitigating, and providing solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.
Antoine Halff, Founder, Kayyros
Richard Jenkins, Founder & CEO, Saildrone
Mekala Krishnan, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute
Moderated by Paul Kolbe, Intelligence Project Director
Keynote Address (5:00-5:30pm)
Secretary John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
Moderated by Dr. Calder Walton
Overview: Addressing climate change is now at the forefront of US national security and foreign policy strategies. How are the leaders of these communities thinking about and adapting to the challenges posed by climate change? What do the Biden administration and its international partners need from intelligence communities to meet these unprecedented challenges and how can this collaboration best be achieved?
Secretary John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
On January 20, 2021, John F. Kerry was sworn in as our nation’s first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the first-ever Principal to sit on the National Security Council entirely dedicated to climate change. President Biden announced Kerry would have a seat at every table around the world as he combats the climate crisis to meet the existential threat that we face. In recent years, Kerry was the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s first ever Visiting Distinguished Statesman, following his four years as the 68th United States Secretary of State. As America’s top diplomat, he guided the Department’s strategy on nuclear nonproliferation, combating radical extremism, and the threat of climate change. His tenure was marked by the successful negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Agreement.
From 1985 to 2013, he served as a U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, and was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2009 to 2013. Secretary Kerry served in the U.S. Navy, completing two combat tours of duty in Vietnam for which he received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from Boston College Law School. Secretary Kerry is the best-selling author of A Call to Service, This Moment on Earth with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, and his 2018 memoir, Every Day Is Extra, which The New York Times described as “a bittersweet reminder of what the country once demanded of its leaders.” Secretary Kerry was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2004.
Carol Dumaine, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Carol Dumaine is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council where she writes a blog series on “Reimagining a Just Society” sponsored by the Council’s GeoTech Center. Dumaine served for over 30 years as an intelligence analyst and manager in the Central Intelligence Agency. In the latter half of her career, her work involved unclassified strategic foresight and multiple scenario analysis of global security issues, including climate change. Dumaine also led the Energy and Environmental Security Directorate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence from 2007-2010. With a small team, she also created and led the Global Futures Forum (GFF)—an internationally collaborative and unclassified effort involving government analysts from 30+ countries to enhance collective strategic foresight about transnational challenges, including pandemics. In 2007, the US Partnership for Public Service recognized Dumaine as a Finalist for the Service-to-America National Security Medal for her leadership in creating the GFF. Following her government career, Dumaine co-taught a graduate-level seminar on Climate Change and National and Global Security at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) from 2014-2018. She co-authored, with Dr. Irving Mintzer, “Confronting Climate Change and Reframing Security,” in the SAIS Review (Winter/Spring 2015). Her current research focuses on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change for new forms of international cooperation including among security services. Dumaine is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and holds a Master’s in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS.
Sherri Goodman, Secretary General, International Military Council on Climate and Security
Sherri Goodman is Senior Strategist and Advisory Board member at the Center for Climate and Security, Chair of the Board at the Council on Strategic Risks, Secretary General of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, and Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s Polar Institute and Environmental Change and Security Program.
Sherri served as the President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Earlier she served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of CNA (Center for Naval Analyses) where she was also the founder and Executive Director of the CNA Military Advisory Board, whose landmark reports include National Security and the Threat of Climate Change (2007), and National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change (2014), Advanced Energy and US National Security (2017), and The Role of Water Stress in Instability and Conflict (2017) among others. The film The Age of Consequences in which Sherri is featured, is based on the work of the CNA Military Advisory Board.
Sherri served as the first Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) from 1993-2001. As the chief environmental, safety, and occupational health officer for the Department of Defense (DoD), she established the first environmental, safety and health performance metrics for the Department, and led its energy, environmental and natural resource conservation programs. Overseeing the President’s plan for revitalizing base closure communities, she ensured that 80% of base closure property became available for transfer and reuse. She led the Secretary’s Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation program which developed a container for storage of spent nuclear fuel for liquid waste from Russian nuclear submarines.
Sherri served on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee where she was responsible for oversight of the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons complex, including research and development of nuclear materials and national labs, and environmental cleanup and management. She has practiced law at Goodwin Procter, as both a litigator and environmental attorney, and has worked at RAND and SAIC.
Sherri has received numerous honors and awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from Amherst College in 2018, the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and 2001, the Gold Medal Award from the National Defense Industrial Organization in 1996, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Award in 2000.
Sherri serves on the boards of Sandia National Laboratories External Advisory Board on Energy and Critical Infrastructure, the Atlantic Council, the Council on Strategic Risks (Chair), the Joint Ocean Commission Leadership Council, the Marshall Legacy Institute, the Advisory Council for Marstel Day (Chair), Schneider Electric Buildings Critical Systems, the National Academy of Sciences Advisory Committee of the US Global Change Research Program, the University of Chicago MSc in Homeland Security/Threat and Response Management Advisory Board, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on its Arctic Task Force in 2016.
Previously, she served on the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Advisory Board, and the Boards of Blue Star Families, the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the National Academy of Sciences’ Boards on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES) and Environmental Systems and Toxicology (BEST), and the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board, where she co-authored studies on Arctic Security and Energy Security.
Sherri has written a book, The Neutron Bomb Controversy: A Case Study in Alliance Politics, and authored dozens of reports and articles on a broad range of nuclear, energy and environmental security issues. She has testified before numerous committees of the U.S. Congress, and appears frequently in national, international and on-line media. She has been an Adjunct Lecturer in International Affairs and Security at the Kennedy School of Government and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Center for Science and International Affairs.
A summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College, she earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and a masters in public policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The Honorable Sue Gordon, Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
Susan M. (Sue) Gordon was the fifth Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI) at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) from August 2017 to August 2019. With more than three decades of experience in the IC, Sue has served in a variety of leadership roles spanning numerous intelligence organizations and disciplines.
As PDDNI, Sue was a key advisor to the President and National Security Council and led the 17-member Intelligence Community. In this role she managed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and focused on advancing intelligence integration across the Intelligence Community.
From 2015-2017, she was Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) where she drove NGA’s transformation to meet the challenges of a 21st century intelligence agency.
Before joining the NGA, she served for 27 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rising to senior executive positions in each of the Agency’s four directorates: operations, analysis, science and technology, and support. In 1998, she designed and drove the formation of In-Q-Tel, a private, non-profit company whose primary purpose is to deliver innovative technology solutions for the agency and the IC.
She is the recipient of numerous government and industry awards, including the Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award. Sue earned a Bachelor of Science from Duke University. A trusted authority on strategy, innovation and leadership, Sue is currently a consultant on global risk, technology, cyber and space issues and a member of the Board at Pallas Advisors, a Washington D.C.-based consultancy.
Antoine Halff, Chief Analyst, Kayrros and Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University
Antoine Halff is a research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a founding partner of earth observation platform Kayrros, where he is head of analysis. Earlier positions include chief oil analyst of the International Energy Agency, lead industry economist at the US Energy Information Administration, head of commodities research at Newedge (then one of the top two US prime brokerage companies in transaction volume) and director of the global energy practice of political-risk firm Eurasia Group. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former head of the World Health Organization, called his book Energy Poverty, co-edited with Jon Rozhon and Benjamin Sovacool, “an excellent resource for the thoughtful analyst and political leader” in our quest for Sustainable Development.
Dr. John P. Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Dr. John P. Holdren is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Co- Director of the School's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Faculty Affiliate in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is also Visiting Distinguished Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and Senior Advisor to the President at the Woods Hole Research Center, a pre-eminent scientific think tank focused on the role of the terrestrial biosphere in global climate change. From January 2009 to January 2017, he was President Obama's Science Advisor and Senate-confirmed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), becoming the longest-serving Science Advisor to the President in the history of the position..
His responsibilities in his White House role included advising the President on all science and technology (S&T) issues bearing on the President's agenda, including the role of S&T in economic competitiveness and job creation, biomedicine and public health, energy and climate change, the oceans and the Arctic, the nation's space program, and national and homeland security. He was also responsible for coordinating R&D strategy and budgets across the Executive Branch departments and agencies; overseeing interagency S&T programs, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program; developing initiatives in STEM education; advancing scientific integrity and openness in government; and representing the U.S. government in interactions with the U.S. and global science and engineering communities.
Dr. Holdren earned S.B. (1965) and S.M. (1966) degrees from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. (1970) from Stanford in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a foreign member of both the Royal Society of London and the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His many other honors include one of the first MacArthur Prizes (1981), the Volvo International Environment Prize (1993), the Tyler Prize for Environment (2000), the Heinz Prize for Public Policy (2001), the Moynihan Prize of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences (2018), and six honorary doctorates. In 1995, he gave the acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an international organization of scientists and public figures in which he served in leadership positions from 1982 to 1997.
From 1996 through 2008, Dr. Holdren held the same chairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences as he holds today. From 2005 through 2008, he was also President of the Woods Hole Research Center. From 1973 to 1996, he was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded and co-led the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources (the Energy and Resources Group). Prior to that he was a theoretical physicist in the Theory Group of the Magnetic Fusion Energy Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a Senior Research Fellow at Caltech in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Caltech Environmental Quality Laboratory. He served from 1991 to 2005 as a member of the Board of Trustees of the MacArthur Foundation and from 1994 to 2005 as Chairman of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control at the National Academy of Sciences. During the Clinton Administration, he served for both terms on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, leading multiple studies for the President on energy-technology innovation and arms control.
Dr. Holdren has been married since 1966 to Dr. Cheryl E. Holdren, a biologist. They have a son, a daughter, and five grandchildren ages 13 to 27. John and Cheryl currently live on Cape Cod.
Richard Jenkins, CEO & Founder, Saildrone
Saildrone Founder and CEO Richard Jenkins developed Saildrone’s core technology over a 10-year period, driven by a research and design project that aimed to break the world land-speed record for wind-powered vehicles. He ultimately achieved that record in 2003, setting a speed of 126.2 mph on a dry lake bed in Nevada. Richard later moved to San Francisco and applied the same now-patented wing technology to an uncrewed wind-powered sailing vehicle, which became the Saildrone Explorer.
Since Saildrone’s first science mission in the Arctic in 2015, Saildrone has worked tirelessly to measure climate quality data from Earth’s most remote oceans and deliver that data to scientists all over the world. Having established Saildrone vehicles as the most capable and proven USVs available, Richard then expanded the technology to address new market needs including ocean mapping with the 72-foot (22 m) Saildrone Surveyor, which performs IHO-compliant bathymetry surveys to depths of 23,000 ft (7,000 m), and maritime domain awareness (MDA).
In 2020, Saildrone successfully completed a demonstration of MDA capabilities for the US Coast Guard, which lead to the development of the 33-foot (10 m) Saildrone Voyager, specifically designed to meet the challenges of IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing), ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), law enforcement and maritime safety, drug interdiction, border and harbor security, and ecosystem monitoring missions.
Richard has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London and is an avid sailor and pilot.
Dr. Mekala Krishnan, Parnter, McKinsey Global Institute
Dr. Mekala Krishnan is a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey’s business and economics research arm, based in Boston, MA.
Her research focuses on topics related to inclusive growth and economic development, including climate risk, globalization, and gender economics. Her most recent research has explored the socioeconomic impacts of the climate transition and of physical climate risk across sectors and geographies. She is an author of the recent McKinsey Global Institute research Climate Risk and Response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts.
Mekala is a frequent speaker on these topics at global conferences as well as with executives at Fortune 500 companies. She has authored numerous articles and her work has been cited in leading business publications, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Harvard Business Review.
Mekala is a member of a task force at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings focused on improving productivity measurement, serves on an advisory board for the Sibley School of Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University, and on the board of the Global Fund for Women, a leading public foundation dedicated to improving global gender equality.
Mekala received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 2011. Prior to Cornell, she received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2006 from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.
Vice Admiral (Ret.) Dennis McGinn, Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment
Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn is a member of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board, and Senior Member of the Executive Committee at the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment from September 2013 until January 2017. In this role, he led the transformation of naval installations toward greater mission resiliency though energy efficiency, renewable energy, microgrids, and other technologies.
Previously, Admiral McGinn served on active duty in the United States Navy for 35 years attaining the rank of Vice Admiral. He served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs, overseeing the development of future Navy capabilities, and previously commanded the United States Third Fleet. While in the Navy, he served as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist.
Admiral McGinn is a former President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) where he led efforts to communicate the economic, security and environmental benefits of renewable energy. Admiral McGinn is also a past member of the Steering Committee of the Energy Future Coalition, the United States Energy Security Council, the Bipartisan Center Energy Board, the past Co-Chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board, and has been an International Senior Fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Admiral McGinn holds a BS in Naval Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and was a Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Fellow at the U.S. Naval War College. He also participated in the National Security Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Former Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Department of Energy
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen is a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center, having served until July 2019 as Director of the Center's Intelligence Project. Prior to that he was also a Senior Fellow.
Before coming to the Belfer Center, Mowatt-Larssen served over three years as the Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to this, he served for 23 years as a CIA intelligence officer in various domestic and international posts, to include Chief of the Europe Division in the Directorate of Operations, Chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Department, Counterterrorist Center, and Deputy Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support. Prior to his career in intelligence, Mr. Mowatt-Larssen served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He is married to Roswitha and has three children. He is a recipient of the CIA Director's Award, the George W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the Secretary of Energy's Exceptional Service Medal, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, Secretary of Defense Civilian Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Intelligence Superior Performance Medal, among other
Lt. Gen. Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE, Non Executive Director for Climate Change, UK Ministry of Defence
Lt Gen Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE is the Non Executive Director for climate change at the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). In 2020, he was appointed Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead for the MOD, completing a comprehensive, cross-cutting report on the department’s activities and policy. This pioneering work led the MOD to recently publish its MOD Strategic Approach on Climate Change and Sustainability. This publication puts the UK at the forefront of global defence strategic thinking on the issue.
Prior to his role as Lead for Climate Change and Sustainability, Lt Gen Nugee was the Chief of Defence People, 2016-2020, responsible for all personnel policy across the UK Armed Forces and their families, Defence civil servants and all veterans, working closely to the UK Chief of Defence Staff and Defence Ministers. His military career spanned over three decades and included several joint and single service appointments. His operational deployments included tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan in 2006 he served in the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps HQ in Kabul, and he returned in 2013-14 to the ISAF Joint Command as Chief of Staff of 3 (US) Corps under Gen Mark Milley and then 18 (Airborne) Corps, service for which he was awarded the US Legion of Merit in 2014.
Lt Gen Nugee was appointed MBE in 1995, CBE in January 2012, CVO in September 2016, and CB in January 2020.
Dr. Rod Schoonover, Founder & CEO, Ecological Futures Group
Rod Schoonover is a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board. Dr. Schoonover is the Founder and CEO of the Ecological Futures Group, which focuses on the security implications of global ecological disruption and climate change, and an Adjunct Professor in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He served for a decade in the U.S. intelligence community, as Senior Analyst and Senior Scientist in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the U.S. Department of State and as the Director of Environment and Natural Resources at the National Intelligence Council (NIC). At the NIC, he oversaw the long-range strategic analysis program for environmental, ecological, and scientific issues for the U.S. intelligence community, and was a primary contributor to 2016’s Global Trends: Paradox of Progress. During his tenure in the intelligence community, Dr. Schoonover produced highly-regarded intelligence community analyses on climate change, water security, food security, polar affairs, wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, and environmental degradation. His passion for scientific integrity and evidence-driven, apolitical analysis compelled him to resign from the Trump administration in July 2019.
Prior to joining government as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow in 2009, Dr. Schoonover was a full Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Visiting Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He earned his PhD in chemical physics at the University of Michigan where he studied complex systems and chaos theory.
Dr. Schoonover is a frequent speaker and writer and has appeared in many scientific and national security conferences as well as public media such as CNN, CBS, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Geographic. He has received numerous awards for teaching and public service, including the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on four occasions. He lives in Washington DC with his wife and daughter.
Erin Sikorsky, Deputy Director of the Center for Climate and Security
Erin Sikorsky is the Deputy Director of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), and the Director of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of the Strategic Futures Group on the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the US, where she co-authored the quadrennial Global Trends report and led the US intelligence community’s environmental and climate security analysis. She is also the founding chair of the Climate Security Advisory Council, a Congressionally mandated group designed to facilitate coordination between the intelligence community and US government scientific agencies. Ms. Sikorsky worked in the US intelligence community for over a decade. Prior to joining the NIC, she led teams covering a range of issues related to the Middle East and Africa. Ms. Sikorsky earned a Master of International Affairs at Columbia University, and a B.A. in government from Smith College.