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Christine Parthemore Chosen as New CEO of the Council on Strategic Risks

Christine ParthemoreThe Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) – the parent institution of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) – is pleased to announce Christine Parthemore as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Christine has deep experience addressing issues ranging from the security implications of climate change to countering weapons of mass destruction, including in the U.S. Department of Defense, security think tanks, and academia. She is also Director of CSR’s Janne E. Nolan Center on Strategic Weapons and Manager of CSR’s Climate-Nuclear-Security Project, and was a founding Board Member of CSR.


This Month, Meet the CSR Women Making History

By Christine Cavallo

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we are excited to highlight the women across the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) who are leading and shaping all of our organizations components: the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the Converging Risks Lab (CRL), and the Janne E. Nolan Center on Strategic Weapons (the Nolan Center).

First, we must recognize that the Council on Strategic Risks would not be what it is today without the immense and irreplaceable support of founding board member, the late Dr. Janne E. Nolan. She had a long career as an author and a dedicated public servant, working across the State Department, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and as the defense advisor to several presidential campaigns and transition teams among numerous other positions. Her work continued into nonprofits and academia as she pioneered nuclear security affairs and practical, non-partisan solutions for anticipating, analyzing and addressing systemic risks to security. CSR’s CEO Christine Parthemore penned a blog post earlier this month about how this organization—and the entire field of national security—would not be what they are today without Janne’s leadership and contributions.

The depth of talent across CSR cannot be overstated. The women on our Board and our core teams have trailblazed their way through security and scientific spaces, and worked tirelessly to push boundaries and build new career fields for others. Many have served as the cornerstones of growth and progress in their fields, and continue to build on those foundations and advance solutions to nuclear, climate, environmental, and biological threats and beyond.

We reached out to some of those women to ask about each of their paths, and we share their answers with you below: 


Climate Change, the Erosion of State Sovereignty, and World Order

Erosion of State Sovereignty This is a blog series highlighting each article in the Center for Climate and Security’s recent report, “Epicenters of Climate and Security: The New Geostrategic Landscape of the Anthropocene.”

Climate Change, the Erosion of State Sovereignty, and World Order
By Francesco Femia and Caitlin E. Werrell

The formation and spread of the nation-state has occurred during a relatively stable climatic period—an 11,000-year-plus epoch referred to by geologists as the Holocene. The Holocene, thought to be the longest warm and “stable” climatic period of the last 400,000 years, may have played a significant role in facilitating the development of human civilization. The epoch encompasses the advent of agriculture, the rise and fall of empires and monarchs, and the birth and spread of the nation-state to all corners of the globe. In short, all of modern civilization occurred within the Holocene. In this context, the foundation for the current system of nation-states rests in part on a common assumption that the baseline climatic and natural-resource conditions present until today will generally continue. The flaw in this assumption is that atmospheric conditions, due to human activity, have shifted in an unprecedented way since the mid-20th century, and are changing rapidly. This phenomenon, coupled with massive demographic changes, has led some to assert that that the Earth may have entered a new epoch called the “Anthropocene.” The rapid changes inherent in this epoch could stress the very foundations of the modern nation-state system…

The Thirty Years Warming: Climate Change and the Post-Cold War World


Politicians at Brandenburg Gate opening, 1989. Photo by SSgt. F. Lee Corkran

This article was first published on E-IR as “The Great Thaw: Climate Change and the Post-Cold War World” on March 20, 2019. It is an abridged version of “The Thirty Years’ Climate Warming: Climate Change, Security, and the Responsibility to Prepare,” in The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University. Volume XX, Number 1, Fall/Winter 2018.

By Caitlin Werrell & Francesco Femia

The end of the Cold War coincided with the beginning of global awareness about the risks from climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 and the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Since then, the world has witnessed dramatic social, political, economic, and climatic shifts, as well as incredible technological change – including improvements in our ability to predict future changes in the climate and their implications for international security (Schleussner et al., 2016).  While some of these changes have caught the international security community off-guard, we have seen climate change risks coming for many decades. This combination of unprecedented risks and unprecedented foresight underscore a “Responsibility to Prepare.” (more…)

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