Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



We joined the University of Massachusetts Boston in the fall of 2010 to develop a new doctoral program in global governance and human security, the first of its kind in the United States. In the spring of 2011, we launched the Center for Governance and Sustainability in an effort to bring academic rigor to real-world policy challenges in environment, development, and sustainability governance.

The Center is housed at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, which takes pride in offering a world-class interdisciplinary education and engaging in values-driven research, demonstrating a deep commitment to making a difference in our local and global communities.

Over the past two years, we have engaged in analytical and political debates ranging from the future of the architecture for global environmental governance and the development agenda beyond 2015 to the role of private actors and emerging powers in global governance writ large. Our work spans three dimensions: (1) global governance for the environment and development, (2) assessment of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) implementation, and (3) innovative governance instruments.

Three think-pieces frame this report. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the climate change convention; Gus Speth, former UNDP Administrator and Dean of Yale’s Environment School; and Alice Odingo, professor at the University of Nairobi, offer perspectives on core aspects of the Center’s mission. At the end, an at-a-glance map of people, places, and projects illustrates that within two short years, we find ourselves represented across the globe through the people we work with and the projects we advance.

We look forward to engaging with you in an effort to bring about more-informed decision making and inspired scholarship across scales and geographies.



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