Dr. Rod Schoonover,
Head, Ecological Security Program
The Converging Risks Lab
Rod Schoonover was Head of the Ecological Security Program at the Converging Risks Lab, an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks. He is also a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s and the Council on Strategic Risks’ Advisory Board. Dr. Schoonover is the Founder and CEO of the Ecological Futures Group, which focuses on the security implications of global ecological disruption and climate change, and an Adjunct Professor in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He served for a decade in the U.S. intelligence community, as Senior Analyst and Senior Scientist in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the U.S. Department of State and as the Director of Environment and Natural Resources at the National Intelligence Council (NIC). At the NIC, he oversaw the long-range strategic analysis program for environmental, ecological, and scientific issues for the U.S. intelligence community, and was a primary contributor to 2016’s Global Trends: Paradox of Progress. During his tenure in the intelligence community, Dr. Schoonover produced highly-regarded intelligence community analyses on climate change, water security, food security, polar affairs, wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, and environmental degradation. His passion for scientific integrity and evidence-driven, apolitical analysis compelled him to resign from the Trump administration in July 2019.
Prior to joining government as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow in 2009, Dr. Schoonover was a full Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Visiting Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He earned his PhD in chemical physics at the University of Michigan where he studied complex systems and chaos theory.
Dr. Schoonover is a frequent speaker and writer and has appeared in many scientific and national security conferences as well as public media such as CNN, CBS, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Geographic. He has received numerous awards for teaching and public service, including the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on four occasions. He lives in Washington DC with his wife and daughter.