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Stephanie Epner, Richard Kidd, and Alan Leung Join the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

By Brigitte Hugh

The Center for Climate and Security is pleased and honored to announce that Stephanie Epner, Richard Kidd, and Alan Leung have joined its distinguished Advisory Board of military and national security leaders. This group supports CCS by providing substantive and strategic guidance. 

Stephanie Epner is the Senior Director for Global Initiatives at the Climate Imperative Foundation. Most recently, Ms. Epner served on the White House National Security Council (NSC) staff, where she led the directorate responsible for coordinating the Biden Administration’s international climate and energy policy. Prior to that, she served as senior advisor to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and as the climate and energy lead on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. Read Ms. Epner’s full bio here.

Richard G. Kidd IV retired in 2023 after over 31 years of combined Federal service, including Senior Executive Service assignments in three federal agencies and the White House. Mr. Kidd most recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Security. In this role, he provided strategic direction and programmatic oversight to the Department’s environmental stewardship and energy resilience efforts. Mr. Kidd has also been an international civil servant with over five years of work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme. Read Mr. Kidd’s full bio here

Alan Leung is Senior Vice President for Threat Intelligence, Global Security at Macquarie Group, a global financial services group providing clients with asset management, retail and business banking, wealth management, leasing and asset financing, market access, commodity trading, renewables development, specialist advice, access to capital, and principal investment. He has over 15 years of industry experience in enterprise risk management, corporate security, emergency, and crisis response. Alan also authors a personal newsletter, Securing our Climate, which highlights stories at the intersection of climate change, security, politics, and finance. Read Mr. Leung’s full bio here.

Slate: Climate Change, Unrest in North Africa and Terrorism

Northern_Mali_conflict.svgSlate’s Abraham Riesman published a piece yesterday titled: “Could Climate Change Be Al-Qaida’s Best Friend in Africa?” Riesman includes quotes from the Center for Climate and Security, as well as from our colleague Dr. Nancy Brune of the Center for a New American Security. The piece focuses on the social, economic, environmental and climatic factors associated with unrest in Mali and northwest Africa, and how those factors might relate to the strength of non-state actors, including terrorist organizations. Worth a look.

More on the National Intelligence Council and Climate Change: Global Trends 2030

Pakistan Disaster RecoveryMichael Werz and Arpita Bhattacharyya at the Center for American Progress have posted a good summary of the climate change sections of the National Intelligence Council’s (NIC) recently-released report, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” (you can find the full report here). Namely, they highlight findings from the study which demonstrate that 1) “Food, water, and energy demands will increase as populations rise and climate change will further constrain these resources…” and 2) “changes in resource availability and weather patterns will also likely influence migration…” They also mention some recent climate-security studies that are consistent with the NIC report, including one by us from last March:

The 2030 report adds to the growing body of research on climate change and security factors. Tom Friedman highlighted the role of climate change in the Arab Spring earlier this year, highlighting an important analysis by the Center for Climate & Security on climate change’s impact on the situation in Syria. The Center for American Progress has released three major reports on how climate change, migration, and security factors will play out in different regions of the world.

The NIC report also draws attention to potential “black swan” events, such as pandemics, accelerated climate change, and solar storms. In other words, known unknowns…

Colonel Mark “Puck” Mykleby Joins the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

We are happy to announce that our colleague, the inimitable Colonel Mark “Puck” Mykleby, USMC (Ret), has recently joined the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board. (more…)

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