Prof. Dr. h.c. William C. Clark


Prof. Clark researches complex problems arising in the context of human-environment systems with the objective to contribute to the sustainable development of these systems. In 1970, William Clark was awarded a certificate from the U.S. National Air Pollution Control Administration in Legal Aspects of Pollution Management. A year later, he earned a bachelor‘s degree in Biology, Ecology, Political Economy, and Politics at Yale University. In 1979, he completed his Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Since 1987, Prof. Clark has been Harvey Brooks Professor for International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he is also co-director of the Sustainability Science Program.

His current research has centered on, among other areas, the institutional framework for knowledge production and implementation in terms of sustainable development. His international research functions include visiting professorships at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Potsdam, as well as the management of the program of Sustainable Development of the Biosphere: Interactions between the Global Economy and  the World Environment at the International Institute for Applied System Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.

Prof. Clark serves on numerous advisory boards and committees, such as the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was last honored for his research and lecturing activities in 2011 with the Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Teaching awarded by Harvard College. In addition, he was awarded the German Humboldt Prize in 2002, the Manuel Carballo Teaching Award of the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2000, and the MacArthur Prize, also known as a „genius grant“, in 1983.