Woods Hole Research Center names Philip Duffy as New President

White House Science Advisor to Head World’s Leading Climate Change Think Tank

Dr. Philip Duffy

Dr. Philip Duffy

Falmouth, Mass. – The Woods Hole Research Center today named Dr. Philip B. Duffy as its next president.  Dr. Duffy is a national leader in climate science and policy, who brings great breadth and depth of expertise in climate change to the Center.  Dr. Duffy will take the helm of WHRC as it celebrates its 30th anniversary of climate change research, education, and communication.

“Phil stands out for the remarkable alignment of his experience and interests with that of WHRC,” said Wilhelm Merck, Chairman of WHRC’s Board of Directors. “Phil has ably led scientific teams for many years and understands the critical role for high-quality, independent, policy–relevant research. He is the right choice to lead WHRC.”

Dr. Duffy currently serves as the White House National Science and Technology Council’s Senior Advisor to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.  In this role he is involved in international climate negotiations, domestic climate policy, and coordination of US global change research. Prior to his work with the White House, Dr. Duffy was Chief Scientist for Climate Central, an organization dedicated to increasing public understanding and awareness of climate change.  Dr. Duffy has held senior research positions with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and visiting positions at the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.  He has a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University.

“I am thrilled to join as outstanding and important an organization as the Woods Hole Research Center,” said Dr. Duffy.  “If humanity is to meet the grand challenge of climate change, organizations like the Center will play a critical role, by solving key science problems and bringing those solutions into the policy realm.”

The Woods Hole Research Center is an independent scientific institution working at the intersection of land use and climate change to investigate the causes and effects of climate change to identify opportunities for conservation, restoration and economic development across the globe.

Dr. Duffy succeeds WHRC’s current Acting Director, Richard A. Houghton. “Phil Duffy has the background and commitment for inspiring a vision that combines the Center’s science in the land-climate domain with societal impacts,” said Dr. Houghton. “He is at ease communicating science to diverse audiences, and he has what it takes to lead the Center to the next levels of success.”

Dr. Duffy will begin his tenure as the president of WHRC in January 2015.


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.