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Geoff Dabelko’s Next Step and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s New Initiative

The Woodrow Wilson Center has just announced some big news, which is of great interest to many in the environmental security community.

First, Geoff Dabelko, long-time Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP), will be moving on to a professorship at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Though he will remain as a senior advisor to the ECSP, and will most certainly continue to be a leader in the field, his constant presence in Washington, DC will be missed.

Geoff has been an invaluable standard-bearer for elevating the critical security issues relating to environmental change, and for keeping the debate both nuanced and free of irresponsible hyperbole. Furthermore, his unique ability to juggle cutting edge scholarship, thought-provoking and productive convenings and dialogues, and international leadership, have been described by some as superhuman. But unlike a superhuman, Geoff has always conducted himself with a humility and graciousness that is rare for someone of his ability and expertise.

As Geoff stated in his message to the community, he will still be around as a senior advisor to the ECSP, and will often be back in Washington. So, this isn’t a farewell for him, and this isn’t a farewell message from us. It is, however, a great opportunity to express to Geoff just how valued and inspiring his leadership has been up to this point, without it feeling a little awkward. We look forward to more years of that leadership from his new perch in Ohio!

On a less bittersweet note, the Woodrow Wilson Center is launching its brand new “Initiative on Global Sustainability and Resilience,” which will be led by Blair A. Ruble of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute. According to Ruble, the Initiative will “combine the ongoing efforts of the Environmental Change and Security Program, Global Health Initiative, China Environment Forum, and Comparative Urban Studies Project.”

We look forward to what are sure to be exciting and valuable outputs from this initiative.

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