Renowned global climate change expert to lead ASU Law and Sustainability Initiative

Daniel M. Bodansky

Daniel M. Bodansky, a preeminent authority in international climate change law, has been appointed the Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics, and Sustainability at Arizona State University, according to Paul Schiff Berman, Dean of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Bodansky also has been named an Affiliated Faculty member in both the College of Law's Center for Law and Global Affairs, and in the Global Institute of Sustainability's School of Sustainability at ASU. His appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2010.

"The hiring of Dan Bodansky is a tremendously positive step for advancing ASU," said ASU President Michael Crow. "On the law and sustainability front, Dan will bring us global thinking at the highest level. This is a great day for ASU."

Bodansky, the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law, will be a key player in the development and operation of a new Program in Law and Sustainability at the College of Law. The program, which will be housed in the College's Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology, is expected to be launched next fall. He will teach courses in international law and in law and sustainability.

"Dan Bodansky is the leading figure in international law and climate change," Berman said. "He is a highly respected international law scholar, and his experience, both in government and policy circles with respect to climate change, is unsurpassed. When I became Dean, and we decided to launch both the new Program on Law and Global Affairs and our ambitious transdisciplinary Law and Sustainability Program, Dan was the first person I thought of. I could not be more thrilled that he will be joining us."

Bodansky said Berman's enthusiasm about establishing the College of Law as an innovative force in solving global challenges and Crow's visionary leadership in sustainability convinced him to make the move.

"The law school is a very dynamic place with a real focus on international law, and there's a synergy in the strong group of people who are doing interesting work there. That was particularly appealing to me," Bodansky said. "And what Michael Crow is doing in sustainability, building it throughout the entire university -- operations, curriculum and research -- is very innovative and makes ASU an exciting place. I'm not sure I know of any other school that has that kind of focus."

Rob Melnick, Executive Dean of the Global Institute of Sustainability, said Bodansky's experience as climate change coordinator and attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of State during the Clinton and Bush administrations will bring a new perspective to the Institute and to ASU.

"Dan is a world-class leader in environmental and sustainability law, especially in the international arena," Melnick said. "He has an understanding of how the law on a global level affects, and is effected by, sustainability, and he has the added advantage of having operated in both federal and international policy spaces. His dual appointment is a tremendous asset for both the College of Law and the School of Sustainability."

Bodansky began working in the global climate change arena nearly two decades ago, before it was trendy to do so. He has authored numerous papers for the Pew Center for Global Climate Change and is an influential voice in international conversations about the issue.

His forthcoming book, The Art and Craft of International Environmental Law (Harvard University Press, December 2009), explains the role international law plays in addressing global environmental challenges such as climate change, ozone depletion and the loss of biodiversity.

"Law is an important piece of the puzzle, but the problem with international environmental law has been that people either overwrite the importance of it, or they disregard it altogether," Bodansky said. "One of the points of the book is to try to provide a more realistic picture of the contributions international law can make, but to convey that it's not the only thing that's involved."

Bodansky attended the recent Climate Change Talks in Barcelona and will be in attendance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. The Copenhagen meeting has been billed as the world's last chance to stop temperature change before it passes the point of no return. Some have speculated a political agreement, not a legal agreement, will result from the summit.

"Yes, we should be striving ultimately for the legal agreement, but the difference between a political and legal agreement is incremental, not totally game shifting," he said.

Peter French, Director of the ASU Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, said Bodansky is a welcome addition to a stellar group of Lincoln professors who work in a variety of disciplines at ASU.

"Dan's appointment adds depth to our already outstanding line up of experts in various fields who are working in the ethics areas related to those fields," French said. "We are looking forward to him bringing another dimension to the Lincoln Center and the Lincoln professors' group, and we expect there will be a number of collaborative projects emerging from this relationship."

Bodansky's scholarship includes three books, 28 scholarly articles and book chapters, five book reviews and more than 40 papers and presentations. In addition to his work at the State Department, he has consulted for the United Nations in the areas of climate change and tobacco control. Bodansky is the recipient of a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, a Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs and a Jean Monnet Fellowship from the European University Institute in Florence.

He currently serves on the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law and is the U.S.-nominated arbitrator under the Antarctic Environment Protocol. In addition, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Society of International Law.
In 2002, Bodansky joined Georgia Law, where he teaches in the areas of public international law, international environmental law, and foreign affairs and the Constitution, and he was named associate dean for faculty development in 2006. From 1989 to 2002, he was a faculty member of the University of Washington School of Law, and he also has taught as an adjunct professor at the George Washington School of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center. Bodansky clerked for Judge Irving Goldberg of the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals.

Bodansky earned a Juris Doctor from Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Law Journal, a master's in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University and a bachelor's magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1979.

About the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, renamed for the retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 2006, is pursuing a bold and transformative model for public legal education in the 21st century, a model we call "legal education in the future tense." This model re-imagines the law school as a multifaceted legal studies center serving law students, professionals from other fields, and undergraduates seeking broad-based exposure to legal issues. At the core of this expansion is a dedication to making the law school a valuable resource for addressing major regional, national, and international problems of law and public policy. The College is the leading law school in the Phoenix area, boasts an Indian Legal Program that is arguably the best in the nation, and houses the Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology, the oldest, largest and by far the most comprehensive law and science center in the country, and the new Center for Law and Global Affairs. Beyond the traditional J.D., the College offers several concurrent degrees, including a J.D./M.D. program with the Mayo Medical School, a J.D./M.B.A. with the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU, a J.D./Ph.D. in Law and Psychology with the ASU Department of Psychology, and a J.D./Ph.D. in Justice Studies with the ASU School of Social Transformation's Justice and Social Inquiry Program. It also offers graduate degrees in Biotechnology and Genomics and in Tribal Policy, Law and Government. A Master of Legal Studies program gives non-lawyers an opportunity to develop needed legal skills to help students advance in their professional careers. For more information about the College of Law, visit

About the Global Institute of Sustainability

The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU's sustainability initiatives. The Institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the US, offers transdisciplinary degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. For more information, visit the Global Institute of Sustainability at

About the Lincoln Center for Applied Withs

The Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics is dedicated to emphasizing the essential role that morals and values play in the achievements and successes of individuals and organizations. Its mission is to improve the ethical awareness and understanding and, thereby, the ethical decision-making and behavior of the ASU community and extending to society at large. The Center's goal is to create a university and community ethical culture by sponsoring, organizing and conducting an array of activities on ethics issues that occur in specific fields and professions as well as those of pressing importance in the community at large. For more information about the Lincoln Center, visit

Janie Magruder, Associate Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, 480-727-9052, [email protected]

Karen Leland, Director of Communications/Marketing, ASU Global Institute of Sustainability, 480-965-0013, [email protected]