William C. Clark

Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development
Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government
Office Address
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 53
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-3981
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: william_clark@harvard.edu
Leah Knowles (617-496-2737)
William Clark



William Clark is the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard Universitys John F. Kennedy School of Government. His research focuses on sustainability science: understanding the interactions of human and environmental systems with a view toward advancing the goals of sustainable development. He is particularly interested in how institutional arrangements affect the linkage between knowledge and action in the sustainability arena. At Harvard, he currently co-directs the Sustainability Science Program. He is co-author of Adaptive environmental assessment and management (Wiley, 1978), Redesigning rural development (Hopkins, 1982); and The global health system: Institutions in a time of transition (Harvard, 2010); editor of the Carbon dioxide review (Oxford, 1982); coeditor of Sustainable development of the biosphere (Cambridge, 1986), The earth transformed by human action (Cambridge, 1990), Learning to manage global environmental risks (MIT, 2001), and Global Environmental Assessments (MIT, 2006); and co-chaired the US National Research Councils study Our Common Journey:A Transition Toward Sustainability (NAP, 1999). He serves on the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Clark is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize, the Humboldt Prize, the Kennedy School's Carballo Award for excellence in teaching, and the Harvard College Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Teaching.





January 2013




Not Offered

  • IGA-406 Policy Analysis and Design for Sustainable Development

Media Expertise

William Clark welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:

Additional experts may be found by clicking on each subject listed. You may contact faculty directly or if you need assistance contact the Communications Office at 617-495-1115.


For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the HKS Faculty Research Connection.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Matus, Kira J. M., William C. Clark, Paul T. Anastas, and Julie B. Zimmerman. "Barriers to the Implementation of Green Chemistry in the United States." Environmental Science & Technology 46.20 (October 2012): 10892-10899.
    • Clark, William C., Thomas P. Tomich, Meine van Noordwijk, David Guston, Delia Catacutan, Nancy M. Dickson, and Elizabeth McNie. "Boundary Work for Sustainable Development: Natural Resource Management at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (August 15, 2011): published online.
    • Chapin, F. Stuart III, Stephen R. Carpenter, Gary P. Kofinas, Carl Folke, Nick Abel, William C. Clark, Per Olsson, D. Mark Stafford Smith, Brian Walker, Oran R. Young, Fikret Berkes, Reinette Biggs, J. Morgan Grove, Rosamond L. Naylor, Evelyn Pinkerton, Will Steffen, and Frederick J. Swanson. "Ecosystem Stewardship: Sustainability Strategies for a Rapidly Changing Planet." Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25.4 (April 2010): 241-249.
    • Moon, Suerie, Nicole A. Szlezák, Catherine M. Michaud, Dean T. Jamison, Gerald T. Keusch, William C. Clark, and Barry R. Bloom. "The Global Health System: Lessons for a Stronger Institutional Framework." PLoS Medicine 7.1 (January 2010): e1000193.
    • Szlezák, Nicole A., Barry R. Bloom, Dean T. Jamison, Gerald T. Keusch, Catherine M. Michaud, Suerie Moon, and William C. Clark. "The Global Health System: Actors, Norms, and Expectations in Transition." PLoS Medicine 7.1 (January 2010): 1-4.
    • Clark, William C. "Sustainability Science: A Room of its Own." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104.6 (February 6, 2007): 1737-1738.
    • Cash, David W., William C. Clark, et al. "Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100.14 (2003): 8086-8091.
  • Edited Volumes
    • Mitchell, Ronald B., William C. Clark, David W. Cash, and Nancy M. Dickson, eds. Global Environmental Assessments: Information and Influence. MIT Press, 2006.
    • Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim, Paul J. Crutzen, William C. Clark, Martin Claussen, and Hermann Held, eds. Earth Systems Analysis for Sustainability. MIT Press, 2004.
    • Clark, William C., Jill Jäger, Josee van Eijndhoven, and Nancy Dickson, eds. (Social Learning Group) Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks, Vol. 1: A Comparative History of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion and Acid Rain. MIT Press, 2001.
  • Research Papers/Reports
    • Levin, Simon A., and William C. Clark, eds. "Toward a Science of Sustainability." Center for International Development Working Paper 196, May 2010.

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