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The Role of the U.S. in Accelerating Action on Climate Change: A Conversation with Todd Stern

April 5, 2022

James B. Steinberg, Dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Todd Stern, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institute
Jessica Fanzo, Interim Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs, Johns Hopkins SAIS

The Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean’s Office hosted Todd Stern, Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, for a discussion on the role of the U.S. in accelerating action on climate change on April 5, 2022. Introductory remarks were provided by Interim Vice Dean Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food and Agriculture Policy and Ethics at the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Stern served from January 2009 until April 2016 as the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the Department of State. He was President Obama’s chief climate negotiator, leading the U.S. effort in negotiating the Paris Agreement and in all bilateral and multilateral climate negotiations in the seven years leading up to Paris. Stern also participated in the development of U.S. domestic climate and clean energy policy.
Stern also served under President Clinton in the White House from 1993 to 1999, mostly as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary. From 1997 to 1999, he coordinated the administration’s initiative on global climate change, acting as the senior White House negotiator at the Kyoto and Buenos Aires negotiations. From 1999 to 2001, Stern served as counselor to Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers, advising the secretary on the policy and politics of a broad range of economic and financial issues, and supervising Treasury’s anti-money laundering strategy.
He is currently focused on writing about the climate negotiations during his time as special envoy as well as on writing, speaking, and advising about ongoing efforts on climate change at both the international and domestic levels.