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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

The Honorable John P. Holdren, Ph.D

Teresa & John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School

The Honorable John P. Holdren, Ph.D

Dr. John P. Holdren served as President Obama’s Science Advisor and the Senate-confirmed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from January 2009 until January 2017.  From 1996 through 2008 he was at Harvard University as Teresa & John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy in the Kennedy School of Government and Professor of Environmental Science & Policy in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences—positions to which he was re-appointed in February 2017.  He is also Affiliate Faculty Member in Harvard’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Visiting Distinguished Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and President Emeritus and Senior Advisor to the President of the independent, nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center.


His awards include one of the first MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowships, the Volvo International Environment Prize, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the John Heinz Prize in Public Policy, and six honorary degrees.  He served as a member of the MacArthur Foundation Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2005 and as a member of President Clinton’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology from 1994 to 2001. In 1995, he gave the Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Lecture on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an organization he served in various leadership positions from 1983 to 1997.


Dr. Holdren is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a foreign member of the Royal Society of London and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. From 1973 to 1996 he was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded and co-led the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources. He earned S.B. and S.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Stanford in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics. 

The Honorable John P. Holdren, Ph.D