Message From The Director

Kelly Sims GallagherMay 28, 2014

My first year as the Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Fletcher far exceeded my hopes and expectations.  It was a year of transitions and new beginnings, major accomplishments, and the hard grind of ambitious research projects. 

The first major transition, of course, was the handing of the baton from Professor William Moomaw, the founding director of CIERP, to me.  Bill created a sturdy foundation for CIERP and steadily built it up for more than 20 years.  His students and everyone involved with the Center are in his debt.  We are excited to welcome Assistant Professor Avery Cohn this July as he arrives to take up his new position.  He will become the new director of our Agriculture, Forests, and Biodiversity research program.  We said farewell to Miranda Fasulo and welcomed Penny Storey as Associate Director for Administration and Management.  After 35 years at Tufts, our faculty research affiliate and close colleague Professor Kent Portney from Political Science is moving on to the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.  We look forward to working with him in his new institution.  We are happy to appoint Assistant Professor Sulmaan Khan as the interim director of our Water and Oceans Program. 

Our faculty, research fellows, and students were high achievers this year.  I’m proud to report that we more than doubled our sponsored-research funding (thank you to our sponsors!).  To highlight a few major scholarly accomplishments: doctoral research fellow Laura Kuhl, Fletcher alum Claudia Ortiz, Boni Biajini and I had a paper on adaptation and technology transfer accepted by Nature: Climate Change; Avery Cohn was lead author of a superb new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on agricultural intensification and greenhouse-gas reduction; my book, The Globalization of Clean Energy Technology: Lessons from China, was published by The MIT Press; research fellow Kartikeya Singh was awarded both the Boren and Switzer scholarships; faculty affiliate Prof. Jenny Aker landed two major grants from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UK Department of International Development and Professor of Practice Rachel Kyte was promoted to World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change.  In her abundant leisure, she will be teaching a new seminar on climate change leadership and governance next year. 

In new beginnings, we established a Faculty Research Affiliate program and invited a number of colleagues from around Tufts to join us at CIERP.  We happily welcomed professors Jenny Aker (Fletcher), Ujjayant Chakravorty (Economics), Kelsey Jack (Economics), Gilbert Metcalf (Economics), Kent Portney (Political Science) and Sulmaan Khan (Fletcher) this year. We welcomed Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the US State Department, and Professor SU Jun, Professor at the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University to our network of research affiliates. We also decided to launch a program of executive education that will be led by Mieke van der Wansem, Associate Director for Educational Programs.  We believe that continuing education is essential and consistent with our mission and look forward to the establishment of these new programs.  Kent Portney and I wrote a proposal for a new “Bridge Professorship” in water and security that was approved by the university.  We will be launching the search for this professor in the coming year.  Finally, we created a new research program in CIERP under the direction of Prof. Shinsuke Tanaka on Sustainable Development Economics.  This brings us to five research programs in the Center.

Our students continue to be inspirations and leaders in their own right.  We were proud that junior research fellow Rishikesh Bhandhary was a contributing author to Working Group III for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change.  CIERP research assistant Kathy Nolan chaired the Tufts Energy Conference this spring and nine of our students contributed research for the first Global Sustainable Development Report being developed by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and presented their findings at UN Headquarters in New York.  One former student and CIERP co-author with Bill Moomaw of the “Charting a New Course for the Oceans” publication attended the Global Oceans Summit in May, with support from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

Next year, I will be on leave to work in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on climate change and energy innovation issues.  I am honored to serve in this capacity and excited to lean into the policy world for a year.  With gratitude, I welcome Professor Jenny Aker as Interim Director of CIERP.  She is one of the top development scholars in the world with a primary focus on the impact of information and information technology on development outcomes.  She has recently been working on the determinants of agricultural and environmental technology adoption.  I am so proud that she has joined our Center and look forward to watching her make her mark on it in the coming year. 

Warm regards,
Kelly Sims Gallagher