John Holdren

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John Holdren (also sometimes referred to as John P. Holdren) is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

On 20 December 2008, then-U.S.-President-elect Barack Obama named Holdren as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)[1]

On nuclear power

In April 2009, Holdren remarked, "We are probably going to see some new nuclear power plants in this country. ... We hope they will be characterized by shorter construction times." He was speaking at an event organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. [4]

"If nuclear energy is to make a big dent globally, then we are going to have to be attentive to breaking the linkages between nuclear energy technology and nuclear weapons technology," Holdren added. "And I think the administration will be attentive to how we need to do that as well." [4]


Holdren earned a bachelor's degree from MIT in 1965 and a PhD in plasma physics[5] from Stanford University in 1970. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley for more than two decades. His work has focused on global environmental change, energy technologies and energy policy|policies, nuclear proliferation, and science and technology policy[6]. Dr. Holdren served as chairman of the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from February 2007 until February 2008[7](AAAS) and is director of the Woods Hole Research Center.

Dr. Holdren is the author of some 300 articles and papers, and he has co-authored and co-edited some 20 books and book-length reports, such as Energy (1971), Human Ecology (1973), Ecoscience (1977), Energy in Transition (1980), Earth and the Human Future (1986), Strategic Defences and the Future of the Arms Race (1987), Building Global Security Through Cooperation (1990), Conversion of Military R&D (1998), and Ending the Energy Stalemate (2004). Holdren favors non use of nuclear weapons to respond to chemical and biological attacks on Americans [8]

He is the chair of the advisory board for Innovations, a quarterly journal about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges published by MIT Press.

His wife is Cheryl E. Holdren.


  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, 1981
  • Member of President Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), 1994-2001
  • Chair of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 1993-2004
  • Volvo Environment Prize of 1993 (with Paul Ehrlich)
  • Nobel Peace Prize acceptance lecture on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, December 1995
  • Chair of the Executive Committee of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, 1987-1997
  • Kaul Foundation Award in Science and Environmental Policy, 1999
  • Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, 2000
  • 7th Heinz Award in Public Policy, 2001
  • President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "The search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us", Media Release, December 20, 2008.
  2. Board of Sponsors, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, accessed September 1, 2009.
  3. Members, Global Business Network, accessed November 15, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Derek Sands, "White House science adviser says new nuclear plants likely," Platts, April 30, 2009.
  5. Chemical & Engineering News 5 January 2009, "Obama names Science advisors", p. 9
  6. Kent Klein, "US President-Elect Names Science, Technology Team", Voice Of America, December 20, 2008.
  7. Ginger Pinholster, Earl Lane and Edward W. Lempinen. "Science Blog Reports Obama to Name John P. Holdren as Science Adviser", AAAS, December 18, 2008.
  8. "Obama names climate change experts to posts", Washington Times, December 20, 2008.

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on John Holdren. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.