Advisory board

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board provides guidance and recommendations to the management committee on policy, business and scientific issues related to risk governance and public policy of technology.

James Larus
Chair/Dean
[email protected]/École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

 

Professor and Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Larus was previously a researcher, Manager, and Director at Microsoft Research for over 16 years and an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.

Larus has been an active contributor to the programming languages, compiler, software engineering, and computer architecture communities. He has published over 100 papers (with nine best and most influential paper awards), received 30 US patents, and served on numerous program committees and NSF, NRC, and DARPA panels. Larus joined Microsoft Research in 1998 to start and lead the Software Productivity Tools (SPT) group, which developed and applied a variety of innovative program analysis techniques to build tools to find software defects. This group’s groundbreaking research in program analysis and software defect detection is widely recognised by the research community, as well as being shipped in Microsoft products. Larus became an MSR Research Area Manager for programming languages and tools and started the Singularity research project, which demonstrated that modern programming languages and software engineering techniques can fundamentally improve software architectures. Subsequently, he helped start XCG, an effort in MSR to develop hardware and software support for cloud computing. In XCG, Larus led groups developing the Orleans framework for cloud programming and computer hardware projects. Larus received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator award in1993 and became an ACM Fellow in 2006.

 

 
David Bresch
Professor
Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH) Zurich
 

David Bresch has been Professor for Weather and Climate Risks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich/MeteoSwiss since 2016. From 2000 to 2016, his roles at Swiss Re have included Head of Business Development, Global Head of Sustainability, Head of Atmospheric Perils Group and Chief modeller for natural catastrophe risk assessment. From 1998 to 1999, he was Research Associate at MIT. Bresch was a member of the Swiss delegation to the UNFCCC in 2009-2012 and 2015, and a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), 2014-2016. Bresch holds a PhD in physics from ETH Zurich. His research focuses on the impacts of weather and climate on socioeconomic systems. Combining numerical modelling of weather and climate risks with the engagement of decision makers and end-users, his research aims to explore ways to strengthen resilience based on a shared understanding of their weather and climate susceptibility. Such an integrated view along the chain of impacts also opens up new perspectives to the treatment of uncertainty in decision-making.

 

Catherine Burger
Head Advisors & Partnerships
Swiss Re Institute, Swiss Re

 

Catherine Burger is currently responsible for the Swiss Re Institute’s foresight research and advisory networks, which include the Strategic Council and Emerging Markets advisors. A key focus of hers currently is building out a foresight framework for Swiss Re and its partners to assess and prepare for risks and opportunities of tomorrow.

Prior to her current role, she ran SRI’s partnerships with over 30 world-leading academic institutions and NGOs and developed an innovation management process for commercial solutions and drove first innovation initiatives with clients and partners in the US and India. From 2011 – 2018 she set up Growth Market Networks as well as Public-Private Partnership for Swiss Re’s public sector origination team. When she first joined Swiss Re in 2002 (-2008), she headed up Networks & Research at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue. From 2008 to 2011, she built up and led the Credit Suisse Research Institute and was in charge of Credit Suisse’s Senior Advisors network for Credit Suisse’s Chairman of the Board and regional presidents. Prior to her career in the corporate sector, Ms Burger worked for the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum in London, where she drove their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign with business leaders and media (2000-2001), resp. developed and headed up the Global Leaders for Tomorrow (now Young Global Leaders) network (1997-2000) at the World Economic Forum.

Ms Burger was a lecturer on Corporate Social Responsibility at the faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences in Northwestern Switzerland from 2003 to 2013. She obtained a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Harvard University and a Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

 

Janet Hering
Director and Professor
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and EPFL

 

Janet Hering is the Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (Eawag), Professor of Environmental Biogeochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETHZ) and Professor of Environmental Chemistry at EPFL. As Director of Eawag, she oversees a staff of over 450, including approximately 175 researchers and 84 technical staff members. Research at Eawag focuses broadly on water and the water environment, encompassing the continuum from relatively unperturbed aquatic ecosystems to fully engineered water and wastewater management systems. In addition to its research activities, Eawag’s mandate encompasses both education and expert consulting. Eawag contributes to tertiary education in cooperation with degree-granting institutions, particularly its partner institutions within the Domain of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and hosts about 150 PhD students engaged in their thesis research.

Prof. Hering’s research interests include the biogeochemical cycling of trace elements in natural waters, water treatment technologies for the removal of inorganic contaminants from drinking water, and knowledge exchange at the interface of science with policy and practice. Her research includes both laboratory and field experimental studies. She has been a member of the faculty of the California Institute of Technology and of the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a past recipient of the US National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award and Presidential Faculty Fellows Award. She has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Environmental Science & Technology and is currently a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. Prof. Hering was elected as a member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2015 and as a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences in 2017.

 

Kenneth Oye
Professor and Director of the Program on Emerging Technologies (PoET)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

 

Kenneth Oye is Director of the MIT Program on Emerging Technologies (PoET) with a joint appointment as Professor of Political Science and Data Systems and Society. His research seeks to accentuate benefits and mitigate risks of advanced biotechnologies, with publications on synthetic biology in Science and Nature and on pharmaceuticals policy in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

He is a faculty affiliate of the Synthetic Biology Center, the Center for Biomedical Innovation and the Internet Policy Research Initiative, chairs the biosafety committees for iGEM and the Broad Institute Foundry, and has served as an invited expert to the UN BWC, WHO, PCAST and NRC.
Before joining the MIT faculty, he taught at Harvard University, the University of California, Princeton University and Swarthmore College. He holds a BA in Economics and Political Science with Highest Honors from Swarthmore College and a PhD in Political Science with the Chase Dissertation Prize from Harvard University. Kenneth Oye has been associated with the IRGC Foundation since 2006, with which he collaborates on matters related to risk governance in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and information technology, as well as technology policy and adaptive regulation. He took a sabbatical at EPFL in academic year 2018-2019.

 

Janos Pasztor
Senior Fellow and Executive Director
Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2)

 

Janos Pasztor is Carnegie Council Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the C2G2. He has over four decades of work experience in the areas of energy, environment, climate change, and sustainable development. Before taking up his current assignment, he was UN Assistant Secretary-General for climate change in New York under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Earlier, he was acting Executive Director for Conservation (2014) and Policy and Science Director (2012-2014) at WWF International. He directed the UNSG’s Climate Change Support Team (2008-2010) and later was Executive Secretary of the UNSG’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (2010-2012). In 2007, Janos Pasztor directed the Geneva-based UN Environment Management Group (EMG). From 1993-2006 he worked and over time held many responsibilities at the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), initially in Geneva and later in Bonn.
Janos Pasztor held previous roles in: the Secretariat of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit ’92); Stockholm Environment Institute; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Secretariat of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission); the Beijer Institute; and the World Council of Churches. He has BSc and MSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

 

Arthur Petersen
Professor of Science, Technology and Public Policy
Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), University College London

 

Arthur Petersen joined UCL STEaPP full time in September 2014 after more than 13 years’ work as Scientific Adviser on environment and infrastructure policy within the Dutch Government. He served as Chief Scientist of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (2011–2014). He is the Editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science.

He is also Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (he has held the affiliations to both MIT and LSE since 2009). He has been Adjunct Professor of Science and Environmental Public Policy at the VU University Amsterdam (2011–2016), Professorial Fellow at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment – RIVM (2016–2017) and Visiting Fellow at Osaka University (2018). In June 2019, he was elected as a Member of Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences.

Prof. Petersen studied physics and philosophy, obtained doctorate degrees in atmospheric sciences (Doctor of Philosophy – PhD, Utrecht University, 1999) and philosophy of science (Doctor of Public Administration – DPA, VU University Amsterdam, 2006), and now also finds disciplinary homes in science & religion and philosophy of culture. Most of his research is about dealing with uncertainty and ignorance.

 

 

Jonathan B. Wiener
William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law, Professor of Environmental Policy
Professor of Public Policy, Co-Director of the Duke Center on Risk in the Science & Society Initiative
Duke University

 

Jonathan B. Wiener is the William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law, Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke University, US, where he is also the Co-Director of the Rethinking Regulation programme. Prof. Wiener was President of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) in 2008.  He is a University Fellow of Resources for the Future (RFF), and has been a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Scientific Advisory Committee of IRGC. He is currently working on incorporating learning into “adaptive regulation” of emerging risks and technologies. His publications include the books Risk vs. Risk (Harvard University Press, 1995, with Graham); The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the US and Europe (RFF/Routledge, 2011, with Rogers, Hammitt and Sand); Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Crises (Cambridge University Press, 2017, with Balleisen, Bennear, and Krawiec); and articles in Science, Global Policy, JPAM, Technology in Society, and the Harvard, Yale, Penn, Georgetown, and UCLA law journals. 

Before working at Duke, Prof. Wiener served at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). He helped negotiate the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) signed at the Rio Earth Summit (1992), and helped draft Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Review (1993).  He was a law clerk for federal judges Stephen G. Breyer and Jack B. Weinstein, and obtained degrees in economics and law from Harvard.

 

 

Lan Xue
Dean
Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University

 

Lan Xue is a Cheung Kong Chair Distinguished Professor. His teaching and research interests include STI policy, crisis management and global governance. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. He is a member of the National Committee for Strategic Consultation and Comprehensive Review, a member of United Nations University Council, and a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solution Network (UNSDSN).

Prof. Xue received his PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University in 1991, and taught at the George Washington University as an assistant professor before returning to Tsinghua University in 1996. He has won many awards and prizes for his work, including Distinguished Young Scholar Award of National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and Fudan Distinguished Contribution Award for Management Science.

 

In Memoriam


 

Konrad Steffen (2 January 1952 – 8 August 2020) 
Director, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)
Professor, Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH) Zurich and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Lausanne

 

Konrad Steffen was the Director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), a Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich (Institute of Atmosphere & Climate) and a Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) (Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering). He was also the Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado from 2005-2012 and Professor Emeritus of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder, USA from 1997-2012.
He was a member of several committees and advisory boards: Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research, GCOS Observation Panel for Climate (TOPC), World Climate Research Program, Swiss Committee on Polar and High Altitude Research, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), ESA Climate Change Advisory Board, Agroscope, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.
Professor Steffen dedicated his career to studying processes related to climate and cryosphere interaction in polar and alpine regions based on in-situ and satellite measurements, using climate system modelling to study their sensitivity. In particular, he studied and evaluated sea level changes and conducted sensitivity studies of large ice sheets using in situ and modelling results. Every year he travelled to his research station in Western Greenland, which he called Swiss Camp, where his team has been collecting data on snow cover, ice and the atmosphere with various instruments since 1990. Professor Steffen was outspoken about the need to address climate change and his research was vital for a better understanding of sea level rise.
Professor Steffen died in an accident at Swiss Camp in Greenland on 8 August 2020, when he fell into a crevasse in the ice. Crevasses such as the one where Professor Steffen fell are relatively recent occurrences caused by warming temperatures. In this way, his untimely death can be seen as casualty of climate change.