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Wil Burns

Wil Burns

Wil Burns

Visiting Professor, Environmental Policy and Culture Program at Northwestern

Wil Burns's Website




ISEN 432 Carbon Removal, Capture, and Use (1.0 credit)

Dr. Wil Burns is an adjunct professor within Northwestern's Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability (MSES) Program and a visiting professor with Northwestern University's Program in Environmental Policy and Culture (Wil's departmental site is here).

Prior to 2021, Burns was a Professor of Research and Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. He is also a Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Previously, he served as the founding Co-Executive Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, a scholarly initiative of the School of International Service at American University. He also served as the Director of the Energy Policy & Climate program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Prior to becoming an academic, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for the State of Wisconsin and worked in the non-governmental sector for twenty 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 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. 

He is also the former President of the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences, and former Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law interest group of the American Society of International Law and Chair of the International Wildlife Law Interest group of the Society. He also served as founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Case Studies in the Environment

He has published over 80 articles and chapters in law, science, and policy journals and books, and has co-edited four books. He holds a Ph.D. in International Environmental Law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law. His current areas of research focus are: climate geoengineering, climate loss and damage, and the effectiveness of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.