The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is pleased to announce a free Gilman Climate Leaders Virtual Seminar Series focused on climate change and environmental sustainability, which will launch on March 24, 2022. The series has been created under the auspices of the Gilman Program with a primary audience of Gilman current scholars and alumni, but is also open to all American students at U.S. colleges and universities.
In addition, up to 50 Gilman scholars or alumni who participate fully in the virtual series will be eligible to apply for one of two fully-funded overseas in-person seminars, which will also focus on climate change and environmental sustainability. These seminars, held in early June 2022, will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark and Sheffield, England, United Kingdom in partnership with the Fulbright Commissions in these countries.
Please direct any questions regarding either event to GilmanEvents@iie.org.
Virtual Seminar Series
Open to Gilman scholars/alumni and all students at U.S. colleges and universities
Current Gilman scholars and Gilman alumni are invited to participate in a virtual seminar series of eight, ninety-minute live virtual seminars from March 24 through May 12, 2022, presented by Duke University’s Energy Initiative and Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and funded through the U.S. Department of State’s Gilman Program. Participants register once for the seminar series and can indicate which of the seminars they plan to attend. Register today!
The goal of this interdisciplinary, interactive series is to enhance understanding of the climate crisis through a foreign policy lens, including its social, political, and economic impacts, with an eye towards environmental sustainability from the extensive expertise of speakers from Duke and other universities, who share a wide range of professional and academic experience. Attendees will also be provided with tools and resources to advocate for more sustainable practices and policies within their local communities. There is no fee to attend these seminars and participants may attend the entire series or individual events. Events will also be recorded and shared with registrants.
- Thursday, March 24, 12:30pm – 2:00pm ET – Welcome and Overview
- The U.S. Department of State will welcome attendees to the series and Duke University’s Brian Murray will set the stage for the seminar series, describing the goal of starting and ending with the formal epicenter of global climate change policymaking, the United Nations, as well as engaging with the on-the-ground challenges and opportunities that shape and inform formal negotiations and treaty outcomes. Dr. Rob Jackson, Jonathan Wiener, JD and Jennifer Haverkamp, JD will also discuss their experiences in global climate change assessments and UN climate negotiations.
- Thursday, March 31, 11:30am – 1:00pm ET – Life at the Intersections of Energy Insecurity, Gender Dynamics and Climate Change in Africa
- This seminar will kick off with reflections by Eric Ndayaho Mvukiyehe, a political science professor with deep experience in development and gender issues from his tenure at the World Bank. He will then be joined by Dr. Victoria Plutshack, who works on energy access and decarbonized, off-grid energy systems in Africa. The two will hold an engaging conversation about tackling climate change and electrification, embedded within this varied, complex context – and explore the role of women-centered solutions in meeting development, political stability and climate goals on the African continent.
- Thursday, April 7, 8:00pm – 9:30pm ET – The United States and China: Addressing Climate Change Together and Apart
- This seminar will feature an engaged panel discussion among Dr. Junjie Zhang, Sustainability Chair for the Schwartzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua University with faculty appointments at Duke and Duke Kunshan Universities; Dr. Fan Dai, Executive Director, California-China Climate Institute at University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Jackson Ewing (moderator), Senior Fellow at the Duke University Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; and Dr. Carolyn Kissane, Academic Director (Graduate Programs) and Clinical Professor, at NYU Center for Global Affairs and Global Security. The panel will explore China’s efforts to reach its carbon peaking (2030) and carbon-neutrality (2060) goals, U.S. climate efforts to drive economy-wide decarbonization, and the ways the two countries cooperate and compete on global climate change issues.
- Thursday, April 14, 8:00pm – 9:30pm ET – Supply Chain Scaling: Ecosystem Impacts of Transition Mineral Use
- In order to deploy the low- and zero-carbon energy technologies that will enable the global economy to meet Paris Agreement greenhouse gas reduction goals, the world will need massive quantities of energy transition minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite. This seminar will dig into these needs and the possible ecosystem threats that mining for these minerals poses. Speakers will discuss where these minerals are located, the ecosystems found in those locations, and the role of recycling in limiting the need. The seminar will feature an engaged discussion among among Steve Roady, JD, a long-time ocean advocate; Megan Cook, an ocean explorer; and Renee Grogan, a consultant who works with seabed mining companies.
- Thursday, April 21, 11:30am – 1:00pm ET – Political Implications of Climate Change in Latin America
- This seminar comes back closer to home to examine how climate change is affecting the political landscape in Central and South America. It will feature an discussion among Dr. Christine Folch, a cultural anthropologist studying energy politics, natural resources, and environment in the region; Gabriela Nagle Alverio, a law student and doctoral student researching climate migration; and Dr. Sarah Bermeo, a political scientist focused on foreign aid and development.
- Thursday, April 28, 11:30am – 1:00pm ET – International Finance for Clean Energy and Low-Carbon Development
- Alongside government-led conversations on climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, governmental and private financial institutions are working to invest in the scaling up and dissemination of technologies that will help achieve these goals – and could drive up political ambition if technology outpaces projections. Our food, water, and agricultural systems, among others, will depend on the success of these parallel strategies. This seminar will feature a lively conversation between two international finance experts–Dr. Billy Pizer, an environmental economist at Resources for the Future who also served at Treasury as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy; and Jonathan Phillips, Director of Duke’s Energy Access Project and former Senior Advisor at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
- Thursday, May 5, 11:30am – 1:00pm ET – Water, Justice and Rights: Conflict and Peacebuilding in a Changing Climate
- This seminar will feature a discussion by Erika Weinthal on the role water has played in Central Asian/Middle Eastern conflicts, and how that role might grow through climate change.
- Thursday, May 12, 11:30am – 1:00pm ET – Key Take-Aways from the Series (FOR GILMAN SCHOLARS and ALUMNI ONLY)
- Duke University’s Dr. Brian Murray and Dr. Jackson Ewing will wrap up the series, highlighting key take-aways and tying the seminars together with the question – how do all of these dynamic processes and realities on the ground filter up into UN climate negotiations? This seminar will also include a speaker from the U.S. Department of State, and recent alumni of Duke’s UNFCCC Practicum, through which students participate in UN climate negotiations, will reflect on their experiences.
Open to Gilman scholars and alumni only
Current Gilman scholars or alumni who participate fully in the eight virtual seminars (or confirm viewing of the recordings) will be eligible to apply to attend one of the week-long Gilman Climate Leaders Overseas Seminars taking place in Denmark and the United Kingdom. These initiatives are fully funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Gilman Program and developed in partnership with the Fulbright Commissions in these countries.
These workshops will bring together approximately 25 Gilman alumni each to continue to expand on their understanding of the climate crisis from an international perspective. Attendees will have the opportunity to network, engage and investigate some of the global challenges we are faced with today, as well as discover international perspectives in sustainability and climate change.
Overseas Seminar #1: June 5 – 12, 2022
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Hosts: Fulbright Denmark and Study Abroad in Scandinavia (DIS)
Depart the U.S. on June 5, 2022.
Arrive in Copenhagen on June 6, 2022
Depart on June 12, 2022
Fulbright Denmark and Study Abroad in Scandinavia (DIS) will host this engaging seminar in Copenhagen, which is working hard to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025 and independent from fossil fuels by 2050. Attendees will experience new approaches to sustainability from a Danish perspective and hear from stakeholders shaping current and future solutions to the climate change challenge.
This seminar will enhance attendees understanding of the divergent goals and complex processes associated with sustainable development. Specific focus is given to the interplay between social, political, and economic issues and environmental concern. Attendees are introduced to a broad range of Danish stakeholders currently shaping the sustainability agenda, and encouraged to identify their own values and strategies for a sustainable future, including a case study on Greenland.
The program would take place in Copenhagen and include site visits in Greater Copenhagen and a study trip to the island of Samsø, to highlight both urban and rural sustainability in Denmark.
Overseas Seminar #2: June 6 – 10, 2022
Location: Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Hosts: US – UK Fulbright Commission and University of Sheffield
Depart the U.S. on June 5, 2022
Arrive in Sheffield on June 6, 2022
Depart on June 10, 2022
This exciting seminar will allow Gilman alumni the opportunity to network, engage and investigate some of the global challenges we are faced with today. Attendees will discover more about the University of Sheffield’s pioneering work in sustainability and climate change, connect with current U.S. Fulbright students and scholars and will be invited to work alongside The University of Sheffield’s PhD students at the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures (Grantham Scholars), who conduct their high-profile sustainability research across all faculties of the University and are from a wide range of countries across the globe.
Attendees will take part in plenary sessions about sustainability from a range of academic experts at the University of Sheffield before working in smaller groups as an assigned country to prepare to take part in a COP style debate. This will involve preparing documentation to take part in a debate with other groups of countries. Our Grantham Scholars, many of whom have attended COP themselves, will support attendees in this work.
Furthermore, there will be opportunities to explore the vibrant and welcoming city of Sheffield, based in the heart of the UK, and visit local attractions such as the stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire – Chatsworth House.
These events and the Gilman Program are programs of the Department of State’s USA Study Abroad in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Application: The online application for the overseas seminars is open! Please indicate your location preference within the application. There is no fee to attend this event; however, space is limited and will be filled on a competitive basis. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 4 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. We will notify you of the status of your application via email on April 22.
Financial Support: The Gilman Program will work with selected attendees to book their round-trip airfare. A travel stipend will also be provided to support transportation costs to and from the airport in their home location and the host location, as well as meals during travel to and from the seminar and meals not included as part of the seminar. The travel stipend will be distributed directly to attendees’ U.S. bank account via Zelle/IIePay.
The host organization will arrange and pay for hotel accommodations, meals and transportation costs during the summit. Any additional personal travel or activities outside of the seminar will be at your own expense.
The travel stipend will be distributed directly to attendees’ U.S. bank account via Zelle/IIePay. Accepted students are expected to make their own travel arrangements from the airport to the seminar location using public transportation or taxis.
Please direct any questions regarding either event to GilmanEvents@iie.org.