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William Clark

Harvey Brooks Research Professor

John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Involvement at the ISC

  • Member of the Technical Advisory Group to support the Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability


Professor William Clark is the Harvey Brooks Research Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  His research focuses on sustainability science: understanding the interactions of human and environmental systems with a view toward advancing the goals of sustainable development. He is particularly interested in how institutional arrangements affect the linkage between knowledge and action in the sustainability arena.

At Harvard, he directs the Sustainability Science Program.  He is co-author of Sustainability science: A guide for researchers (Harvard, 2022), Pursuing sustainability: A guide to the science and practice (Princeton, 2016), Adaptive environmental assessment and management (Wiley, 1978), and Redesigning rural development (Hopkins, 1982); editor of the Carbon dioxide review (Oxford, 1982); coeditor of Sustainable development of the biosphere(Cambridge, 1986), The earth transformed by human action(Cambridge, 1990), Learning to manage global environmental risks(MIT, 2001), Global environmental assessments (MIT, 2006) and The global health system: Institutions in a time of transition (Harvard, 2010);  and co-chair of the US National Research Council’s study Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability (NAP, 1999).  He serves on the editorial board of the Sustainability Science section of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.  Clark is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize, the Humboldt Prize, the Kennedy School’s Carballo Award for excellence in teaching, and the Harvard College Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

This page has been updated in May 2024.

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