External Advisory Board

The External Advisory Board provides guidance regarding priorities in science, public policy, and teaching, among other issues for the Earth Institute. The Board meets annually in New York City.

Dr. Kenneth J. Arrow

Dr. Kenneth J. Arrow
Joan Kenney Professor
of Economics, Emeritus
Stanford University
Economics Department

Kenneth J. Arrow was born in New York City in 1921 and received the degrees of B.Sc. in Social Science (The City College, 1940), and Ph.D. in economics (Columbia University, 1951). He was a Research Associate of the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics (1947-9) and taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and Stanford University, from which he retired in 1991. He also served on the staff of the United States Council of Economic Advisers.

Arrow has written (alone or with collaborators) seven books and over 220 papers in learned journals, on general equilibrium theory, social choice theory, economic growth and innovation, health economics, the economics of information, environmental economics, the estimation of production functions, and aerial navigation.

Arrow was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal (1957), the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science (1972), and the von Neumann Award (1986). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and several foreign academies. He has been president of the Econometric Society, The Institute of Management Sciences (now Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences), the American Economic Association, the International Society for Inventory Research, the International Economic Association, and the Society for Social Choice and Welfare.

Dr. Barry R. Bloom

Dr. Barry R. Bloom
Dean of the Faculty,
Professor of Immunology
and Infectious Diseases
Harvard School of Public Health

Barry R. Bloom is Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health. He received his B.A. and an honorary Sc.D. from Amherst College, an A.M. from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University.

Bloom served as a consultant to the White House on International Health Policy in 1977–8. He is a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Advisory Committee on Health Research and has previously chaired the WHO Committees on Tuberculosis Research, and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the UNDP/ World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. Bloom chaired the WHO/UNAIDS Vaccine Advisory Committee and served on the National AIDS Vaccine Research Committee. He was elected president of the American Association of Immunologists in 1984 and served as President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) in 1985. He has served as a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Advisory Board of the Fogarty International Center at the NIH, and the U.S. National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He was co-chair of the Board on Global Health of the Institute of Medicine.

He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Center for Infectious Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and as Chair of the International Vaccine Institute. He received the first Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Research in Infectious Diseases, and shared the Novartis Award in Immunology in 1998. Bloom is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Lead Singer of the Irish rock group U2
Founder of DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa)

Bono is the lead singer of the Irish rock group U2, who have sold over 100 million albums since they formed in 1980.

Bono has worked with Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt campaign, and last year helped found a new organization called DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) based in Washington, DC and London. Bono travels frequently in his campaigning work to lobby politicians and policy makers on DATA's issues, and increase public awareness of the challenges facing Africa in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

He lives in Dublin with his wife Ali and four children.


Sir Partha Dasgupta

Sir Partha Dasgupta
Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics, Cambridge University, Department of Applied Economics

Partha Dasgupta, was born in Dhaka, (then in India) and educated in Varanasi, Delhi, and Cambridge. He is the Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics and past Chairman of the Faculty of Economics and Politics (1997-2002) at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of St. John's College.

During 1991-1997 he was Chairman of the Scientific Board of the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, and during 1989-1992 also Professor of Economics, and Philosophy, and Director of the Program in Ethics in Society at Stanford University. His research interests have covered welfare and development economics; the economics of technological change; population, environmental, and resource economics; the theory of games; and the economics of undernutrition.

His publications include “Guidelines for Project Evaluation” (with SA Marglin and AK Sen; United Nations, 1972), “Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources” (with GM Heal; Cambridge University Press, 1979), “The Control of Resources” (Harvard University Press, 1982); “An Inquiry into Well Being and Destitution” (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993); and “Human Well Being and the Natural Environment” (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Dasgupta is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics, Honorary Member of the American Economic Association, Member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, and Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences. He is a past President of the Royal Economic Society (1998-2001) and the European Economic Association (1999).

Dasgupta was named Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her Birthday Honours List in 2002, for services to economics, and was co-winner (with Karl Goran Maler) of the 2002 Volvo Environment Prize.

Dr. Jared Diamond

Dr. Jared Diamond
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences; Professor of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1937, Jared Diamond received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England. He is a professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Health and a Professor of Geography at UCLA.

Diamond's formal training was in physiology and membrane biophysics. His physiological studies have been recognized by election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and by the research prizes of the American Physiological Society and the American Gastroenterological Association.

At the same time, Diamond has also pursued a parallel career in ecology and evolutionary biology based on an on-going series of expeditions, (19 to date), to study the birds of New Guinea and other tropical Southwest Pacific islands. His evolutionary studies have been recognized by election to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and by the Burr Award of the National Geographic Society and the Coues Award of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

A recent outgrowth of Diamond's evolutionary studies has been in the area of human history. His book “Guns, Germs, and Steel”, translated into 23 languages, won both the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and Britain's Science Book Prize. In 1997, the book won the Phi Beta Kappa Prize in the science category.

Diamond writes bimonthly articles for the News and Views section of Nature, and for Discover Magazine, of which he is a contributing editor. His book “The Third Chimpanzee” won Britain’s Science Book Prize (Rhône-Poulenc Prize).

Diamond’s cumulative contributions to all these fields resulted in his being awarded the National Medal of Science in 1999.

Klaus M. Leisinger
President & CEO of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development

Dr. Nora Lustig

Dr. Nora Lustig
President Universidad de las Américas, Puebla Epidemiology

Nora Lustig is J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Visiting Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Previously she was the Director of the Poverty Group of the United Nations Development Programme. Dr. Lustig was President of the Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico and Professor of its Department of Economics; Senior Advisor and Chief of the Poverty and Inequality Unit at the Inter-American Development Bank, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution, and Professor at the Center of Economic Studies of the Colegio de Mexico.  During her sabbaticals, Nora Lustig spent time as Visiting Scholar at MIT, Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the United Nations Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). She has been a member of the highest level of the Mexican National Researchers System. She is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences since 1987 and of several Boards of academic institutions and editorial committees and was President of the “Mexican Commission of Macroeconomics and Health”. Dr. Lustig was co-founder and President of LACEA, the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association. She has served in high-level search committees and was a co-panelist of the report “An Evaluation of World Bank Research” chaired by Professor Angus Deaton.

As a researcher, Lustig has focused on development economics with particular emphasis on the causes of poverty and inequality and the Mexican economy. Among her publications are: co-edited with Francois Bourguignon and Francisco Ferreira, The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics; Mexico. The Remaking of an Economy (Fondo de Cultura Economica and El Colegio de Mexico; (editor) Shielding the Poor; co-edited with Sebastian Edwards, Labor Markets in Latin America. Combining Social Protection with Market Flexibility; co-edited with Barry Bosworth and Susan Collins, Coming Together? Mexico-U.S. Relations; (editor), Coping with Austerity: Poverty and Inequality in Latin America. Nora Lustig was also co-Director of the World Bank’s 2000/2001 World Development Report “Attacking Poverty”. She has also published in many refereed journals.

Lustig has written many dissemination pieces and made numerous appearances in the electronic media. Her intellectual influence in policy circles is featured in the December 2005 issue of the IMF journal Finance and Development.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lustig has spent her adult life in Mexico and the United States. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri

Dr. Rajendra K Pachauri

Dr. Rajendra K Pachauri was born in Nainital, India, on 20 August 1940. He assumed his current responsibilities as the head of TERI (Tata Energy Research Institute) in 1981, first as Director and, since April 2001, as Director-General. TERI generates unparalleled and original research, and from that provides professional support in the areas of energy, environment, forestry, biotechnology, and the conservation of natural resources to government departments, institutions, and corporate organizations worldwide.

To acknowledge his immense contribution to the field of environmental studies, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in January 2001, one of India's highest civilian awards that recognize distinguished service to the nation in any field.

Commencing his career with the Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi, where he held several managerial positions, Dr. Pachauri joined the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA, where he obtained an MS in Industrial Engineering in 1972, a PhD in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Economics, and also served as Assistant Professor and Visiting Faculty Member in the Department of Economics and Business. He has also been a Visiting Professor and Visiting Research Fellow at institutions such as West Virginia University, The World Bank, with the United Nations Development Programme, and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.

Dr. Pachauri’s wide-ranging and renowned expertise has resulted in his being invited to join various international and national committees and boards, in many different companies, academic institutions and within the Indian government. These include organizations such as the International Solar Energy Society, the World Resources Institute Council, the International Association for Energy Economics and the Panel of Eminent Persons on Power.

Dr. Pachauri has also contributed significantly to his field by having authored 21 books and several papers and articles.

Dr. Tim Palmer

Dr. Tim Palmer
Probability and Seasonal Forecasting Division European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, UK

Tim Palmer is Head of the Probability and Seasonal Forecasting Division at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts based in the United Kingdom.

Palmer is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and has received awards from both of these societies. He is currently chair of the Scientific Steering Group of the UN World Meteorological Organisation's Climate Variability and Predictability Project, and was lead author of the most recent assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is on a number of external advisory committees of climate institutes and programmes worldwide.

Palmer's early research (D.Phil Oxford) was in general relativity theory — his academic grandfather was Paul A.M. Dirac — but most of his recent professional research lies in the area of predictability of weather and climate, and has published extensively on both theoretical and practical perspectives. For example, he has contributed significantly to the application of nonlinear mathematical methods to understand non-trivial aspects of global warming; he has also been Coordinator of a major European Union project to apply seasonal-to-interannual climate prediction to the practical problems of forecasting malaria incidence and crop yield a season or more ahead.

Dr. Peter H. Raven

Dr. Peter H. Raven
Director Missouri Botanical Garden

Peter H. Raven received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1960 after completing his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. He has received honorary degrees from universities in this country and throughout the world.

Raven is Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden and one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. He is also the Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis.

In recognition of his work in science and conservation, Raven is the recipient of numerous other prizes and awards, including the prestigious International Prize for Biology from the government of Japan; Environmental Prize of the Institute de la Vie; Volvo Environment Prize; the Tyler Prize of Environmental Achievement, and the Sasakawa Environment Prize. Raven was a member of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology during the Clinton Administration. In 2001, he received from the President of the United States, the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in this country.

Raven has written numerous books, and publications, both popular and scientific, including “Biology of Plants” (co-authored with Ray Evert and Susan Eichhorn, Worth Publishers, Inc., New York), the internationally best-selling textbook in botany, now in its sixth edition, and “Environment” (Saunders College Publishing, Pennsylvania), a leading textbook on the environment.

Daniel Schrag

Daniel Schrag
Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences Director, Laboratory for Geochemical Oceanography, Harvard University

Daniel Schrag is Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. Schrag studies climate and climate change over the broadest range of Earth history. He has examined changes in ocean circulation over the last several decades, with particular attention to El Niño and the tropical Pacific. He has worked on theories for Pleistocene ice-age cycles including a better determination of ocean temperatures during the Last Glacial Maximum, 20,000 years ago. Schrag has also developed the Snowball Earth hypothesis, proposing that a series of global glaciations occurred between 750 and 580 million years ago that may have led to the evolution of multicellular animals.

Schrag is currently working on creating integrated models of climate change and economic stability for developing countries. Schrag came to Harvard in 1997 after teaching at Princeton, and studying at Berkeley and Yale.

He was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2000.

Mr. George Soros

Mr. George Soros
President Soros Fund Management

George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary on August 12, 1930. He survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest and left communist Hungary in 1947 for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. Today Soros is President and Chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, a private investment management firm that serves as principal advisor to the Quantum Group of Funds, a series of international investment vehicles. The Quantum Fund is generally recognized as the most successful investment fund ever, returning an average 31% annually throughout its 32-year history.

Soros is also Chairman of the Open Society Institute and the founder of a network of philanthropic organizations that are active in more than 50 countries. Based primarily in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union—but also in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the United States—these foundations are dedicated to building and maintaining the infrastructure and institutions of an open society. In 1992, Soros founded the Central European University, with its primary campus in Budapest.

Soros is the author of seven books, most recently “George Soros on Globalization” (Public Affairs, March 2002). His articles and essays on politics, society, and economics regularly appear in major newspapers and magazines around the world. Soros has received honorary degrees from the New School for Social Research, the University of Oxford, the Budapest University of Economics, and Yale University. In 1995, the University of Bologna awarded Soros its highest honor, the Laurea Honoris Causa, in recognition of his efforts to promote open societies throughout the world.

Carl-Henric Svanberg

Carl-Henric Svanberg

Carl-Henric Svanberg graduated from Sweden’s Institute of Technology at Linköping University with a Master of Science and also holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Uppsala University. In addition to this, Svanberg holds honorary doctorates at Luleå University of Technology and Linköping University in Sweden.

After graduation in 1977, he worked for Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) with various foreign assignments within project exports. In 1986 Svanberg moved to Securitas, the world-leading security company. After four years he was appointed first executive vice president for the Securitas Group, with responsibility for alarm solutions and locks. In 1994, Svanberg moved to Assa Abloy Group where he took up the position as president and CEO. Later, he became CEO and president of the Ericsson Group. In 2009, Svanberg left Ericsson to become chairman of BP.

In addition to Svanberg’s business track record, he is personally committed to and an advocate for many corporate responsibility issues, including human rights, climate change and the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr. P.H.

Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr. P.H.
Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Chair, Department of Nutrition Harvard School of Public Health

Dr. Walter Willett grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, attended Michigan State University, and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School before obtaining a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Willett is a co-investigator of the Nurses’ Health Study I, a cohort of over 121,000 female registered nurses 30-55 years of age who completed a mailed questionnaire that included items about known or suspected risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease. He is Principal Investigator of the Nurses’ Health Study II, a prospective cohort investigation established in 1989 with over 116,000 female registered nurses. This study is designed to examine the association between lifestyle and nutritional factors and the occurrence of breast cancer and other major illnesses.

In addition to his work with the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II, Willett initiated in 1986, a parallel prospective study of diet in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease among 52,000 men, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. He has published over 800 articles, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for heart disease and cancer, and has written the textbook, “Nutritional Epidemiology” (2nd edition), published by Oxford University Press. His recent book for the general public, “Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating” has appeared on most major best seller lists.

Dr. Edward O. Wilson

Dr. Edward O. Wilson
Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology

Dr. Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus at Harvard and a preeminent biological theorist. He earned B.S. and M.A. degrees in biology from the University of Alabama, and a PhD. in biology from Harvard University. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1956 and distinguished himself over the next four decades as professor of zoology, curator in entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and researcher.

Today, Wilson continues entomological and environmental research at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Two of his 21 books have been awarded Pulitzer prizes: “On Human Nature” (1978) and “The Ants” (1990, co-authored with Bert Hölldobler). His most recent book, “The Future of Life” (2001), offers a plan for saving Earth's biological heritage.

In addition to his books, Wilson has written over 370 articles, most for scientific journals. Wilson has received some 75 awards in international recognition for his contributions to science and humanity, including the U.S. National Medal of Science (1976), Japan's International Prize for Biology (1993), the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1990), the French Prix du Institut de la Vie (1990), Germany’s Terrestrial Ecology Prize (1987), Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal International Prize for Science (2000), and the Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society (1999). For his conservation work he has received the Audubon Medal of the National Audubon Society and the Gold Medal of the World Wide Fund for Nature. He is also the recipient of 27 honorary doctoral degrees form North America and Europe.

Former Board Members

Dr. Harold Varmus

Dr. Harold Varmus
President Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center

Harold Varmus has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City since January 2000. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at Amherst College and Harvard University, and is a graduate of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He now serves as a trustee of Columbia University. His scientific training occurred first as a Public Health Service officer at the NIH, and then as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.

Much of Varmus’ scientific work was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, where he and Dr. J. Michael Bishop and their co-workers demonstrated the cellular origins of the oncogene of a chicken retrovirus. For this work, Bishop and Varmus received many awards, including the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. In 1993, Varmus was named by President Clinton to serve as the Director of the National Institutes of Health, a position he held until the end of 1999.

In addition to authoring over 300 scientific papers and four books, including an introduction to the genetic basis of cancer for a general audience, Varmus has been an advisor to the Federal government, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, and many academic institutions. Recently, he has served on the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, task forces at the Council on Foreign Relations, advisory committees on electronic publishing, and planning groups to enhance scientific activity in the developing world. He is also a founding member and Chairman of the Board at Public Library of Science, a new publisher of free access online papers in biological and medical sciences. He has been a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences since 1984 and of the Institute of Medicine since 1991.