Governance of the European Chair in Sustainable Development and Climate Transition


Dr. Someshwar is the European Chair for Sustainable Development and Climate Transition at Sciences Po, Paris. (Please see the interview with Dr. Someshwar)

Dr. Someshwar is a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York, in the School of International and Public Affairs. He leads multidisciplinary efforts on building development resilience to climate risks, and advises governments and multilateral institutions on identifying and implementing sustainable development action priorities in pursuit of Agenda 2030. 

As principal investigator, Dr. Someshwar has led several international research efforts over the last 30 years. Sample of efforts over the last five years include: Supporting UN Agenda 2030 and SDGs through strategic partnerships and preparedness for the Asian Development Bank; Advancing fire risk management in Papua, Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia; Budgetary and fiscal transfer incentives and communication protocol for peat forest fire prevention in Indonesia; Planning tools for urban climate resilience in India; and Critical decision pathways for urban climate resilience in India. 

Over the last decade, Dr. Someshwar has taught graduate level courses at Columbia University on sustainable development and on climate change policies and risks. At Sciences Po, he teaches graduate courses on sustainable development. He has conducted numerous training events on integrating climate policies into national and regional plans and on sustainable development for government agencies, universities, and multi-lateral organizations, in more than 20 countries. 

Dr. Someshwar’s publications cover a range of topics and issues: Planning and institutions for sustainable development; Climate change mitigation, adaptation and risks; and Ecosystem resilience and management. He is the editor of Re-living the memories of an Indian forester: Memoirs of S. Shyam Sunder (MUP, Feb. 2020). He is currently working on Realizing Development: Mismatch of research and institutions (manuscript under preparation).

Dr. Someshwar received a Ph.D. in urban planning (with a focus on the environment) from the University of California, Los Angeles, and he was a Bell-MacArthur fellow at Harvard University.  He has two masters’ degrees on housing and environmental planning, and is also trained as a professional architect. He is a board member of Arghyam (a Bangalore-based philanthropy on safe and sustainable water), and the Center for Climate Risk and Opportunity Management in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (a Bogor-based research institute). He is a member of the Advisory Council of IDDRI - Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (a Paris-based think tank), and a member of the Strategic Council of Chefs4theplanet (a global solutions network for sustainable gastronomy). Dr. Someshwar has previously worked at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York, the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, and at the World Bank in Washington D.C.


The committees responsible for governing the Chair’s activities are the Scientific Committee and the Steering Committee. 

Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee is composed of external experts, faculty, EAP and PSIA Deans, and the Chair Holder, with an aim to annually validate strategic orientation of research, training, education, and outreach activities. 

The external experts include: 

  • Rizaldi Boer (Agriculture University of Indonesia, Bogor)
  • Naoko Ishii (University of Tokyo; Former CEO/Chair of the Global Environment Facility, Washington DC)
  • Lailai Li (Director, Board of the Caixin Foundation, Beijing)
  • Roberto Lenton (Chair, Board of Governors, International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka)
  • Carlos Lopes (University of Cape Town; African Union High Representative for Partnerships with Europe)
  • Julia Marton-Lefèvre (Chair, Board of the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT)
  • Sunita Narain (DG, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi)
  • Emma Navarro (Member of Board, Iberdrola España)
  • Jeff Romm (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University, New York; President, Sustainable Development Solutions Network)
  • Laurence Tubiana (CEO, European Climate Foundation, Paris)

Sciences Po faculty members include:

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is composed of the EAP and PSIA Deans, the Chair Holder, a research assistant, a Strategic and Development Department representative and representatives of the sponsors. The committee helps set up the annual plan of activities, following guidance of the Scientific Committee. It validates the activity report and the annual budget. 

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