Wil Burns is a CIGI senior fellow focused on research on climate geoengineering governance. This has included preparation of a report on the application of a human rights-based approach to govern climate geoengineering under the Paris Agreement, and co-authorship of a report that examines how climate geoengineering options might be governed under the Paris Agreement. He has also participated in a number of CIGI-sponsored meetings and CIGI participation in other fora, including the annual meeting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Academy of Environmental Law.
Wil is a professor of research in the School of International Service at American Universityand serves as the Co-Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy (ICRLP) in the program. Previously, Wil served as director of the Energy Policy & Climate Program at Johns Hopkins University. He also serves as the co-chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association, and as editor-in-chief of Case Studies in the Environment.
Wil is the former president of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, as well as co-chair of the International Environmental Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. He previously taught at Williams College, Colby College, Santa Clara University School of Law and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies of Middlebury College.
Prior to becoming an academic, Wil served as assistant secretary of state for public affairs for the state of Wisconsin and worked in the non-governmental sector for 20 years, including as executive director of the Pacific Center for International Studies, a think tank that focused on implementation of international wildlife treaty regimes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
Wil has published more than 75 articles in law, policy and science journals and has co-edited five books. He holds a Ph.D. in international environmental law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law.