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Andrew Light

University Professor; and Director, Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy


Robinson Hall B, Room 453

Fairfax, Virginia 22030



Andrew Light is University Professor and Director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University.  He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Climate Program at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C.  From 2013 to 2016 Andrew served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, and as a staff member in the Secretary of State's Office of Policy Planning in the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity he was on the senior strategy team for the UN climate negotiations, directed the U.S.-India bilateral climate change working group, and chaired the U.S. government's interagency working group on climate change in the Sustainable Development Goals, among other issues. In recognition of this work, Andrew was awarded the inaugural Alain Locke Award for Public Philosophy, from the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy in March 2016, and a Superior Honor Award, from the U.S. Department of State in July 2016, for “contributions to the U.S. effort that made the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, where the landmark Paris Agreement was concluded, a historic success.”  Before joining the government Andrew was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. (CAP), where he organized and developed CAP’s work on international climate and energy policy, serving as chief adviser on these issues to CAP’s founder and chairman, John Podesta. During this period he authored 11 major reports and over a hundred columns and editorials (see the list and links below).

Andrew is also an internationally recognized expert on the intersection of the scientific and normative dimensions of environmental policy. He is the author of over 100 scholarly articles and book chapters, and has authored, co-authored, and edited 19 books including,  Environmental Values (Routledge, 2008), Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice (MIT, 2003), Technology and the Good Life? (University of Chicago, 2000), Environmental Pragmatism (Routledge, 1996), and the forthcoming Ethics and the Anthropocene (MIT, 2018).  He is co-founder and editor of the journal Ethics, Policy, and Environment



Areas of Research

  • International Climate Change Policy
  • Environmental Ethics and Policy
  • Normative Dimensions of Emerging Technologies