Dr. John Holdren rejoins the Woods Hole Research Center

After serving for eight years as President Barack Obama’s science adviser, Dr. John Holdren has rejoined the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), the world’s #1 ranked independent climate-change think tank, as a senior adviser to its president.

Dr. Holdren joined the Obama Administration in January 2009 as the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He became the longest serving Presidential science advisor since the inception of the position in World War 2.

Prior to his White House service, Dr. Holdren was the CEO of WHRC from 2005 to 2009. During that time he was also a professor of environmental science and policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences – roles to which he was re-appointed after leaving the White House last month.

“I am delighted to be connected again to the superb group of scientists and policy analysts at the Woods Hole Research Center,” Holdren said. “The Center’s work on the causes, dynamics, and consequences of climate change and on the actions needed to reduce its damages has never been more important.”

During his time at the White House, Dr. Holdren was the president’s chief adviser on issues related to science and technology policy. He had a critical role in developing and implementing the Obama administration’s domestic and international climate policies, and he and his former doctoral student, Professor Kelly Sims Gallagher of Tufts University, were important players in the engagement with China that made the 2015 Paris climate agreement possible. He was also a uniquely effective science communicator, appearing everywhere from congressional hearings to David Letterman’s Late Show.

At WHRC, Dr. Holdren will hold a pro-bono role providing strategic guidance and helping to ensure that WHRC remains on the cutting edge of important climate change research.

“We are excited to have John Holdren return to the WHRC community,” Duffy said. “John’s public service was historic and groundbreaking on many scientific fronts, and we at WHRC are honored that he has chosen to dedicate his volunteer time to climate change. His experience driving climate action on the national and international stages will be invaluable to our mission of supporting science-based climate policy.”


WHRC is an independent research institute where scientists investigate the causes and effects of climate change to identify and implement opportunities for conservation, restoration and economic development around the globe.