Washington – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars today announced the creation of a new program to study the impact of global changes—such as population growth, resource scarcity, urbanization, migration, and economic development—on people’s lives, from their environment and health to their security and economic wellbeing.

The Global Sustainability and Resilience Program will be led by Blair A. Ruble, who will leave his position as director of the Center’s Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies.  The new program will combine and build upon the ongoing contributions to the field by the Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, Global Health Initiative, China Environment Forum, and Comparative Urban Studies Program.

Making the announcement, Jane Harman, director, president, and CEO of the Wilson Center, said,

“Every day we hear of or feel the increasing impact of global change.  With the world’s population passing the seven billion mark, it is critically important that we study the local effects of this change.  It makes sense to pull together the excellent programs at the Wilson Center that are working on these issues.  With his experience running the peerless Kennan Institute – in the U.S. and overseas – and the Center’s Comparative Urban Studies Project, Blair Ruble is an excellent fit to bring the important work of these programs together into a cohesive whole.”

Ruble will continue his affiliation with the Kennan Institute, by serving as a senior advisor and working on questions of urbanization, migration, and diversity in Russia and Ukraine.  Kennan Institute Deputy Director Will Pomeranz will become the institute’s acting director.

Ruble said, “The challenge of nurturing a rich variety of human experiences that can inspire social resilience deserves great reflection, which I hope our program activities can advance.”

After serving 15 years as director of the Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, Geoff Dabelko will join the faculty of the Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs at Ohio University as director of the Environmental Studies Program. He will continue to work with the Environmental Change and Security Program as a senior advisor.