Terrestrial Processes & Adaptation
Richard Benedick has played a major role in global environmental affairs as chief U.S. negotiator and a principal architect of the historic Montreal Protocol on protection of the ozone layer, and as Special Advisor to Secretaries-General of both the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) and the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994). After serving several years on Battelle’s International Advisory Board, in 1998 he became Deputy Director in the Environmental and Health Sciences Division at their Washington D.C. office of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and since 2001 is Senior Advisor to Battelle’s Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland.
Since 1994 Dr. Benedick has been President of the National Council for Science and the Environment, an organization of over 500 universities, scientific societies, industry and civic groups dedicated to improving the scientific basis for environmental decision making. He is concurrently Visiting Fellow since 1995 at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (Social Science Research Center). His acclaimed book, Ozone Diplomacy: New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet (Harvard University Press, 1991, enlarged ed. 1998; Japanese ed. 1999), was selected by McGraw-Hill for an anthology of twentieth-century environmental classics, and is used in universities throughout the world. He has lectured at more than 70 universities and professional bodies, serves on several boards, and is consulted by international agencies, governments, foundations and industry. He has organized and/or presided over numerous international conferences and negotiations on environment, development, population, and science policy. In 2005, he was appointed to The National Academies' Committee on Analysis of Global Change Assessments.
Benedick was elected in 1991 to the World Academy of Art and Science, and in 2002, to the American Academy of Diplomacy, an association of 100 former cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, and statesmen "who have made notable contributions to American foreign policy." He received the two highest Presidential career public service honors (the Distinguished, and two Meritorious, Service Awards), as well as the State Department's John Jacob Rogers medal and the United Nations Ozone Award. Other distinctions include two State Department Superior Honor medals; visiting fellow, National Center for Atmospheric Research; senior fellow, World Wildlife Fund; Stimson Fellow in International Relations at Yale University; awards from the Holy See, the Climate Institute, and Population Reference Bureau; Tönisssteiner Kreis; and Phi Beta Kappa. He is cited in Who’s Who in America since 1980.
A career diplomat, Dr. Benedick served in Iran, Pakistan, Paris, Bonn, and Athens. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, he supervised policy formation and international negotiations on climate change, stratospheric ozone, biotechnology, tropical forests, oceans, wildlife conservation, and AIDS. Previously, he headed policy divisions at State Department responsible for global population policies and research, and for economic assistance and multilateral finance; he was also selected for the 10-month Senior Seminar, the U.S. government’s highest study program. He has led many international delegations and testified before the U.S. Congress and foreign parliaments, most recently in 2005 before the Senate on science and environmental policy.
Benedick is author of over 120 publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Industrial Finance in Iran, The High Dam and the Transformation of the Nile, and a chapter on climate policy in a recent book of the Max Planck Society.
Education and Credentials
- D.Sc. honoris causa from North Carolina State University
- Ph.D., International Finance from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration
- Evans Fellow at Oxford University in Metaphysical Poetry
- M.A. (honors) in economics from Yale
- A.B. summa cum laude from Columbia
Awards and Recognitions
- Elected in 2002 to the American Academy of Diplomacy
- Elected a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science
- Presidential career public service honors (the Distinguished, and two Meritorious Service Awards), the State Department’s John Jacob Rogers medal, and the 1997 United Nations Tenth Anniversary Ozone Award
- Other distinctions include two State Department Superior Honor medals; visiting fellow, National Center for Atmospheric Research; senior fellow, World Wildlife Fund; Stimson Fellow in International Relations at Yale University; awards from the Holy See, the Climate Institute, and the Population Reference Bureau; Tönisssteiner Kreis; and Phi Beta Kappa. He is cited in Who’s Who in America since 1980.
- Benedick RE. 2007. "Avoiding Gridlock on Climate Change." Issues in Science and Technology 23(2):37-40.