- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Arctic Initiative Focuses on Impacts of Rapid Climate Change

| Fall/Winter 2017-2018

During his keynote address at the 2017 Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík, Iceland on October 13, John P. Holdren announced the establishment of The Arctic Initiative: Science, Technology, Education, and Policy Innovation for a Sustainable Arctic at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. The Arctic Initiative is a joint project of the Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP), headed by Henry Lee, and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP), co-directed by Holdren, who led  the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and served as President Obama’s Science Advisor from January 2009 until January 2017. 

The Arctic Initiative is focused on the environmental, economic, and social challenges linked to rapid climate change in the Arctic, with particular emphasis on issues for which insights about the relevant science and technology are germane. Halla Hrund Logadóttir, ENRP Fellow and former Director of the Iceland School of Energy (ISE) at Reykjavík University, is a co-founder of the Initiative and will serve as program manager. 

The Initiative will build on the experience and strong faculty and student interest at the Kennedy School and across Harvard—as well as strong relationships with many of the other organizations across the globe that work on Arctic issues—seeking to develop new insights and collaborations that link science, technology, and policy in support of responses to the challenges and the opportunities now facing the region. 

 “The challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic are interdisciplinary, intersectoral, international, and intergenerational,” said Holdren, who attended the Arctic Circle Assembly with a delegation of students from Harvard Kennedy School. “What is happening and will happen there,” he added, “affects not only the eight nations with territory in the Arctic, but the rest of the world as well. We hope that the new Harvard effort will be able to contribute meaningfully to the global efforts already underway to clarify and react appropriately to the changes going on there.”

See more about the Arctic Initiative here.

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

"Arctic Initiative Focuses on Impacts of Rapid Climate Change." Belfer Center Newsletter, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Fall/Winter 2017-2018.


John P. Holdren

Henry Lee