About us

The Sustainability Science Program is the hub of Harvard’s research, teaching, and interventions on the challenges of sustainable development: fostering shared prosperity and reduced poverty while protecting the environment. The Program promotes the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development by:

  • advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems;
  • improving connections between research and policy communities; and
  • building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability.

The Program’s approach is multidisciplinary, engaging people from the natural, social, health and engineering sciences, and from practical field experience in business, government, and civil society. 

Past initiatives in problem-driven research at the intersection of environment and development have included studies on innovation and access to technologies for sustainable development (William Clark, Laura Diaz Anadon, Kira Matus, Suerie Moon), long-term sustainability of the Amazon’s water cycle and hydropower development (Paul Moorcroft, Biology), sustainable development of the energy sector in China (Henry Lee, HKS; Laura Diaz Anadon, Venkatesh Narayanamurti, SEAS), public-private partnerships in India (Rohini Pande, Michael Greenstone), water and human health (Michael Kremer, Economics), integrated use of land and water resources (N. Michele Holbrook, Biology) biofuels and globalization (Henry Lee, HKS) and knowledge systems for sustainability (William C. Clark, HKS). 

Sponsorship: The Program’s core support is provided by a generous gift from Italy’s Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea. Additional project-specific funding comes from a variety of federal agencies, private foundations, and Harvard sources. The administrative home for the Program is the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Leadership: SSP is led by program director William Clark.

William C. Clark is the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at the Kennedy School of Government and director of SSP.  His research focuses on linking science and technology to management and policy action for sustainability.

For more information visit https://www.hks.harvard.edu/mrcbg/sustsci