Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

A Message from the Director

Director's Welcome

Simon Nicholson

Welcome to the Global Environmental Politics Program. We are a community of faculty, students, and alumni committed to working on the environmental and sustainability challenges facing the planet and its people.

Our faculty is more engaged than ever in research projects, as well as collaborative activities with several Washington-area environmental organizations and overseas research partners. We're also fortunate to have a wide group of affiliated faculty, in the School of International Service and across the campus, working in environmental law, environmental science, public policy, development, communications, and peace and conflict resolution. 

For our truly exceptional graduate students, our program offers flexibility, rigor, and the opportunity to spend time in Washington, which has an unparalleled concentration of environmental agencies, advocacy organizations, social movement groups, and think tanks. And for many students, time spent overseas provides experiences that only enrich their studies. 

We offer two different Masters program options. The first, our MA in Global Environmental Policy, provides an integrated course of study in policy analysis, economics, and the natural sciences, combined with ready access to the many resources available in Washington DC. The second, our dual degree MA in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, headed by my colleague Judy Shapiro, has students spend a year at the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica in addition to course and other work on our home campus.

Another exciting development: In the past couple of years we've launched a new team-research practicum option to fulfill the program's research requirement. Student practicum teams have been producing extraordinary work, in addition to the individualized research projects that many of our students complete under faculty supervision. 

A large part of the program's work takes place through events and public outreach. Be sure to visit our events calendar for a rich array of lectures, workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, and more. Whether you intend to work on the scale of a neighborhood, a watershed, a nation, or the planet as a whole, I think you'll find that the Global Environmental Politics Program and the School of International Service provide uniquely rich settings from which to operate.

Join us! We have work to do.

With best regards,

Simon Nicholson

Director, Global Environmental Politics Program

Contact Us:

For information on admissions requirements, application procedures, and deadlines, please visit the Graduate Admissions website or contact SIS Graduate Admissions:

Phone: 202-885-1646

For information on events and program activities, or for general program information, contact the Global Environmental Politics Program office:

E-mail: (for both the GEP and NRSD degree tracks)
Phone: 202-885-1683

For academic questions about the GEP or NRSD degree programs, contact Dr. Judith Shapiro: