John Holdren

Professor of Environmental Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Dr. John Holdren is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, co-director of the School’s science, technology, and public policy program, professor of environmental science and policy in the department of earth and planetary sciences, and faculty affiliate in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is also visiting distinguished professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and senior advisor to the president at the Woods Hole Research Center, a pre-eminent scientific think tank focused on the role of the terrestrial biosphere in global climate change.

From January 2009 to January 2017, Holdren was former President Obama’s science advisor and Senate-confirmed director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, becoming the longest-serving science advisor to the president in the history of the position. Holdren's responsibilities in his White House role included advising the president on all science and technology (S&T) issues, including the role of S&T in economic competitiveness and job creation, biomedicine and public health, energy and climate change, the oceans and the Arctic, the Nation’s space program, and national and homeland security. 

Holdren's other honors include one of the first MacArthur Prizes, the Volvo International Environment Prize, the Tyler Prize for Environment, the Heinz Prize for Public Policy, the Moynihan Prize of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and six honorary doctorates. Prior to advising the president, Holdren held the same chairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and in the department of earth and planetary sciences. 

Holdren earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. from Stanford in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics. Holdren and his wife live on Cape Cod.