William Moomaw

William Moomaw

160 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
Research/Areas of Interest:

Natural solutions for climate change: forests, wetlands and soils; Clean energy technologies that address climate change; Quantitative indicators of environment and development; Sustainable development and negotiating Sustainable Development Goals; Science and Policy; Reducing Nitrogen pollution


  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.A., Williams College


William Moomaw is Emeritus Professor of international environmental policy and founding director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Fletcher. He currently serves as co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts, which he co-founded. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Williams College and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from MIT. He had a 26-year career in chemistry and environmental studies at Williams College, where he directed the Center for Environmental Studies. He served as AAAS Science Fellow in the U.S. Senate, where he worked on legislation that successfully addressed ozone depletion, and on legislation responding to the 1973 energy crisis. He began working on climate change in 1988 as the first director of the climate program at World Resources Institute in Washington. He has been a lead author of five Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize for its climate work in 2007. He is currently working on natural solutions to climate change with a focus on increasing carbon dioxide removal and sequestration by forests, wetlands and soils to compliment emission  reductions from land use changes and replacing fossil fuels with zero carbon renewable energy.

He chairs the board of directors of two climate science and policy organizations, The Climate Group North America and Woods Hole Research Center. He also serves on the boards of directors of The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts, the Consensus Building Institute, Earthwatch Institute, and is on the National Advisory Boards of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Young Voices for the Planet. 

He and his wife, Margot, completed a zero net energy home in Williamstown MA in 2007 that produces sufficient solar electricity to meet all of its heating, lighting and appliance requirements while exporting surplus power to the grid. They have recently added more solar panels for a battery powered electric vehicle.

Professional Activities

  • Co-Director, Global Development and Environment Institute Tufts University
  • Board Chair Woods Hole Research Center
  • Board Chair The Climate Group North America
  • Board of Directors, Consensus Building Institute
  • Board of Directors Earthwatch Institute
  • Board of Advisers Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Board of Advisers Young Voices for the Planet

Other Affiliations

  • The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (IERP)
  • The Global Development and Environmental Institute (GDAE)
  • Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE)
  • Institute for Human Security

Courses taught

Selected Publications and Presentations


William R. Moomaw, Susan A. Masino and Edward K. Faison, Intact Forests in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves the Greatest Good (2019). Frontiers in Forests and Global Change doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2019.00027.

William R. Moomaw,(2018). Scientist Diplomats or Diplomat Scientists: Who Makes Science Diplomacy Effective? 2018. Global Policy, doi: 10.1111/1758-5899.12520.

Max Finlayson, William Moomaw, Gillian Davies, G. L. Chmura, Susan M. Natali, J. E. Perry,N. Roulet and Ariana E. Sutton-Grier (2018). Wetlands.

William R. Moomaw, G. L. Chmura, & Gillian T. Davies,  C. M. Finlayson, B. A. Middleton, Susan M. Natali, J. E. Perry, N. Roulet, Ariana E. Sutton-Grier (2018). Wetlands in a Changing Climate: Science, Policy and Management, Wetlands, (2018) 38: 183. 

William R. Moomaw (2017). Science Diplomacy: Hard Won Lessons. Science Diplomacy, September 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

William R. Moomaw, Rishikesh Bhandari, Laura Kuhl and Patrick Verkooijen, (2017). “Sustainable “Development Diplomacy: Diagnostics for the Negotiation and Implementation of Sustainable Development,” Global Policy 8 (1).73-81 DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12350

David R. Kanter, Jessica A. Wentz, James N. Galloway, William R. Moomaw, and Wilfried Winiwarter, (2016). Managing a forgotten greenhouse gas under existing law: An interdisciplinary analysis (N2O). Environmental Science & Policy67, pp. 44-51.

Ariel I. Horowitz, William R. Moomaw, Dan Liptzin, Benjamin Gramig, Carson Reeling, Johanna Meyer and Kathleen Hurley (2016). “A Multiple Metrics Approach to Prioritizing Strategies for Measuring and Managing Reactive Nitrogen in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 11 No. 6.

David Kanter,, James Galloway, William Moomaw and Wilfried Winiwarter (2015). Reducing N2O emissions from agriculture in the United States.

William Moomaw (2015). “Will the Paris Climate Accord and Future Climate Treaties Be a Vision or a Roadmap?” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 39, Summer 2015: 41-48.

Kayser, Georgia, L., William Moomaw, Jose Miguel Orellana Portillo and Jeffrey K. Griffiths (2014). “Circuit Rider post-construction support: Improvements in domestic water quality and system sustainability in El Salvador,” The Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygine for Development.

Kanter D.R., Mauzerall D.L., Ravishankara A.R., Daniel J.S., Portmann R.W., Grabiel P., Moomaw W.R., Galloway J.N. (2013). "A post-Kyoto partner: Considering the stratospheric ozone regime as a tool to manage nitrous oxide."  PNAS 2013; published ahead of print February 25, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1222231110

William R. Moomaw (2013) “Can the International Treaty System Address Climate Change?” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 37, Winter 2013: 105-118.

William Moomaw and Mihaela Papa (2012). Creating a mutual gains climate regime through clean universal energy services, Climate Policy, Vol. 12, Issue 2: 505-520.

William Moomaw and Mihaela Papa (2012). Creating a mutual gains climate regime through clean universal energy services, Climate Policy, Vol. 12, Issue 2: 505-520.

Melissa B.L. Birch, Benjamin M. Gramig, William R. Moomaw, Otto C. Doering III, and Carson J. Reeling (2011), “Why Metrics Matter: Evaluating Policy Choices for Reactive Nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” Environmental Science and Technology45, 168-174. 

Aviel Verbruggen, Manfred Fischedick, William Moomaw, Tony Weir, Alain Nadai,Lars J. Nilssonf, John Nyboerg, Jayant Sathaye, (2009). “Renewable Energy Costs, Potentials, Barriers: Conceptual Issues,” Energy Policy doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2009.10.036.

C. Chester and W. Moomaw (2008) “A taxonomy of collaborative governance: A guide to understanding the diversity of international and domestic conservation accords,” International Environmental Agreements vol. 8. pp. 187-206.

Moomaw, William and Judy Layzer. "Changing Course Will Require Major Policy Change, and the United States Must Lead the Way." Boston Review 32, no. 1 (2007).

Moomaw, William. "Environmental Sustainability and Collaboration in South Eastern Europe." Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 6, no. 3 (2006).

"Aligning Values for Effective Sustainability Planning," Planning for Higher Education (2003).

Moomaw, William. "Aligning Values for Effective Sustainability Planning." Planning for Higher Education 31, no. 3 (2003): 159-164.

"Energy, Industry and Nitrogen: Strategies for Decreasing Reactive Nitrogen Emissions," Ambio (2002).

"Renewable Energy in a Carbon Limited World," Advances in Solar Energy (1999).

"The Environment and Economic Transition in the Region," Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (1999).

"Are Environmental Kuznets Curves Misleading Us? The Case of CO2 Emissions," Environment and Development Economics (1998).

"Life-cycle Global Warming Impact of CFCs and CFC-Substitutes for Refrigeration," Journal of Industrial Ecology (1997).

"Adverse Implications of the Montreal Protocol Grace Period for Developing Countries," Journal of International Environmental Affairs (1997).

"Going Around the GATT: Private Green Trade Regimes," Praxis Journal of Development Studies (1997).

"Industry," Climate Change 1995, Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (1996).

"Industry, Energy and Transportation: Impacts and Adaptation," Climate Change 1995, Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (1996).


Transboundary Environmental Negotiation (co-editor) (2002).

People and Their Planet: Searching for Balance (co-editor) (1999).


"Expanding the Concept of Environmental Management Systems to Meet Multiple Goals," Regulating From the Inside (2001).