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Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Ph.D.

  • Professor
  • Senior Adviser, Environmental Change and Security Program, Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Associate Senior Fellow, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Geoff Dabelko View high-resolution photo
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service

Areas of Expertise

Expert Bio

Dabelko works at the interface of research and policy on questions tackling links between climate change and security, fostering environmental peacebuilding, and making more age-friendly and climate resilient for older adults. He has over three decades of experience bringing together individuals and organizations not accustomed to working together on shared challenges and opportunities.

“Wide-ranging challenges like climate change and peace and security require us to break out of our silos to understand the impacts and execute responses across sectors, geographies, and scales,” Dabelko said.  “The transdisciplinary, service-focused mission of the Voinovich School embraces this difference-making collaborative approach to teaching, research, and practice.” 

Dabelko joined Ohio University in 2012 as a professor at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. He has served as director of the Environmental Studies Program and as an associate dean.

From 1997-2012, he served as director of the Environmental Change and Security Program, a nonpartisan policy forum on environment, population, and security issues at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He continues as a senior adviser to the Wilson Center and as an associate senior fellow with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, grappling with the complex connections among environment, climate, conflict, peacebuilding, and security.

Dabelko’s work on climate and security links included serving as a lead author for the Human Security chapter in the 5th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and as an author of the international chapter for the 5th Congressionally-mandated U.S. National Climate Assessment. 

Dabelko worked previously at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Foreign Policy magazine and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has taught at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. 

With long-time collaborator Ken Conca of American University, Dabelko co-edited Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics and Environmental Peacemaking. In 2017, Dabelko and Conca were awarded the Al-Moumin Award on Environmental Peacebuilding. In announcing the award, the UN Environment Programme executive director said, “No two individuals have shaped our institutional thinking on environmental peacebuilding more than Geoff Dabelko and Ken Conca. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their innovative thinking and the paradigm shift they have catalyzed through their work."

Dabelko has a Ph.D. in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and an AB in political science from Duke University.

Expertise at a Glance

Dabelko is an expert in climate change, environment, and foreign and security policy. He focuses on climate change and security, environmental peacebuilding, water conflict and cooperation and climate resilience for age-friendly communities.

Media Placements

The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
National Geographic
Al Jazeera