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Climate Change as a Threat Multiplier

Destabilization of strategically important areas may be the result of climate-induced changes, not just the actions of foreign powers or terrorist organizations. Predicting where, and when, destabilizing events will occur may not be feasible. It may, however, be possible to identify areas where the risks are higher, which is why it’s crucial we expand the way we think about national security to include the risks associated with climate change.

Join Alice Hill, Council of Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (Ret.) for a conversation with American Security Project COO Andrew Holland on the threats climate change poses to US national security.

About the Speakers

Alice Hill is the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her work at CFR focuses on the risks, consequences, and responses associated with climate change. Hill previously served as special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director for resilience policy on the National Security Council staff where she led the development of national policy to build resilience to catastrophic risks, including climate change and biological threats. Her coauthored book, Building a Resilient Tomorrow, was published in 2019. In 2020, Yale University awarded her the Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis.

Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (Ret.) served in the U.S. Navy for thirty-five years prior to his retirement in 2000. His last active duty assignment was Inspector General of the Department of the Navy where, together with his Marine Deputy, he was responsible for the Department’s overall inspection program and its assessments of readiness, training, and quality of service.

Admiral Gunn has extensive experience with and substantial accomplishments in the areas of manpower, personnel and training. He served in eight assignments in those areas during his career. During his last manpower assignment (as Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel, and Commander, Navy Personnel Command) he played a key role in redesigning the Navy’s manpower and personnel establishment and orchestrated the transfer of the Navy’s Personnel Command from Arlington, Virginia to Millington, Tennessee. Relations he developed with the Congressional delegations and the business and academic communities were key to the success of this BRAC–directed move.

Andrew Holland is the American Security Project’s Chief Operating Officer. His area of research is on energy, climate change, trade, and infrastructure policy. For more than 15 years, he has worked at the center of debates about how to achieve sustainable energy security and how to effectively address climate change.

He served as Legislative Assistant on Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure for United States Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska for three years from 2006 through 2008.  He worked in the US House of Representatives for the House Ways and Means Committee and the Office of Congresswoman Roukema.

He holds a Master’s Degree in International Strategy and Economics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and a  Bachelor’s Degree in History and Economics from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.