MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of December 1981

John P. Holdren

Arms Control and Energy Analyst

Berkeley, California

Age: 37

Published December 1, 1981

John Holdren studies contemporary problems relating to technology, environment, and public policy.

His research centers on energy and resource options in industrial and developing countries, global environmental problems, and international security.  Holdren has co-authored and co-edited numerous books on these topics, including Energy (1971), EcoScience (1977), Energy in Transition (1980), Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium (1994), The Future of US Nuclear Weapons Policy (1997), and Ending the Energy Stalemate (2004).  He is the author of more than 300 articles and papers.

In 2005, Holdren became President-Elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He is also Director of the Woods Hole Research Center; Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy in Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Science.  He served previously as Professor of Energy and Resources at the University of California, Berkeley.

Holdren received a S.B. (1965) and a S.M. (1966) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. (1970) from Stanford University.

Last updated January 1, 2006.

John P. Holdren In the Media

"Obama Adviser on Front Lines of Climate Fight"

The New York Times
John P. Holdren , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
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Philanthropy for the Climate Change Challenge thumbnail

Philanthropy for the Climate Change Challenge

A presentation by John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Read More

About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

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Review Affirms Impact and Inspiration of MacArthur Fellows Program

“We are proud of the Fellows Program and its impact on the lives of not just those selected but people all over the world." Cecilia Conrad, Vice President, MacArthur Fellows program. Read More
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"Five Myths About the MacArthur ‘Genius Grants’"

Commentary by Cecilia Conrad originally published in the Washington Post Read More