A specialist of environmental geopolitics and migration dynamics, François Gemenne is a FNRS senior research associate at the University of Liège, where he is the Director of the Hugo Observatory. He also serves as co-director (with Bastien Alex) of the Observatory on Defence and Climate of the French Ministry of Defence. He lectures on environmental and migration policies in various universities, including Sciences Po (Paris and Grenoble) and the Free University of Brussels, where he holds the Bernheim Chair on Peace and Citizenship.
His research deals mostly with environmental and migration governance. He has worked in particular with populations displaced by environmental changes, including natural disasters, and the policies of adaptation to climate change. He has conducted field studies in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, Tuvalu, China, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Mauritius and Japan, after the Fukushima disaster.
He’s a lead author for the IPCC (WG II) and has been involved in a large number of international research projects on these issues, including EACH-FOR, HELIX, EDGE and MECLEP, for which he was the global research coordinator. He also coordinated the DEVAST project, one of the first international projects to examine the social and political consequences of the Fukushima disaster. In 2015, he was recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to pursue research at Princeton University. Previously he worked as a research fellow at Sciences Po (as the executive director of the Politics of the Earth research programme), the University of Versailles (UVSQ) and IDDRI.
He has also been the scientific advisor of the exhibition ‘Native Land. Stop Eject’ at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, in Paris. He has consulted for several organisations, including the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, the ACP Observatory on Migration and the British government (Foresight). In 2010, he was awarded the ISDT-Wernaers Prize for achievement in the communication of science to the general public.
He holds a joint doctorate in political science from Sciences Po Paris and the University of Liege (Belgium). He also holds a Master in Development, Environment and Societies from the University of Louvain, as well as a Master of Research in Political Science from the London School of Economics. Between 2008 and 2010, he was awarded a post-doctoral scholarship from the AXA Research Fund. He has published in various journals, including Science and Global Environmental Change, and has authored six books, amongst which ‘Géopolitique du Climat’ (Armand Colin, 2009 & 2015), ‘The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis’ (edited with C. Hamilton and C. Bonneuil, Routledge 2015) and an Atlas of Environmental Migration, with D. Ionesco et D. Mokhnacheva (Routledge 2016).
He is also the director of the Sustainable Development series at Presses de Sciences Po.