Dr. Wil Burns is the Director for the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources at the University of California-Irvine School of Law. 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. His current areas of research focus are: climate geoengineering; international climate change litigation; adaptation strategies to address climate change, with a focus on the potential role of microinsurance; and the effectiveness of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.
He is 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 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.