Professor of Global Environmental Politics Dr. Doreen Stabinsky has been named the first-ever holder of the Zennström Visiting Professorship in Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden.

“This area of knowledge is extremely important. The challenges of climate change call for knowledge and courage on the part of world leaders,” said Uppsala University Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson. “It’s highly gratifying that Doreen Stabinsky wants to join in developing an environment in this area at Uppsala University.”

Stabinsky’s research, teaching and writing concern the impacts of climate change, particularly on agriculture and global food security. She also serves as adviser to various governments and international environmental organizations, and has a large international network of collaborators.

She stresses the central role that education must play in addressing the growing challenges of climate change. Stabinsky — who joined the COA faculty in 2001 — is known for her commitment to education and her ability to strengthen young people’s capacity to contribute to a better world.

“Working with talented and committed students and colleagues is inspiring and motivating – it gives me hope for the future,” Stabinsky said. “Today’s youth are not just future climate leaders; they are already leading the way, advocating for and implementing changes needed to address climate change. I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with new colleagues at Uppsala University to bring more students into the political processes around climate and to enable them to become the leaders that the world needs.”

Uppsala University is the oldest university in the Nordic countries, with a living cultural environment and fantastic student life where 40,000 obtain world-class research and high quality education that benefits society and business on a global level.

Stabinsky will take up the position Feb. 1, 2015, and contribute to the establishment of a learning environment that will be unique in Sweden and internationally.

The 10-year visiting professorship, which involves a new professor being invited every year or two, is based at the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development and will help to strengthen the focus on the area of climate change leadership there. Plans are already being made, in consultation with Stabinsky, for a range of activities in 2015, including seminars, conferences and international meetings. She will also take part as one of the university’s representatives at the next key international climate summit, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015.

“We’re going to establish a unique approach to climate change, with the emphasis on aspects that seldom come to the fore in the climate debate,” said Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development Director Neil Powell. “Collaboration and relationships, innovations and leadership are crucial for resolving climate issues, and we want to create a platform for education, relevant research and collaboration on these questions.”

The professorship is being funded with an earlier donation by entrepreneur Niklas Zennström, who co-founded Skype, Kazaa, Joos, through his organisation Zennström Philanthropies. He holds dual degrees from Uppsala University, a BSc in Business Administration and a dual MSc in Engineering Physics and Computer Science.

“Though we’ll miss Doreen during her time in Sweden, this visiting professorship is a tremendous opportunity for her professionally and a tremendous boon for the planet and the climate change movement,” noted Dr. Darron Collins, College of the Atlantic President. “At the same time, the exchange between COA and Uppsala will have lasting benefits for students on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Stabinsky has represented various NGOs and the College of the Atlantic in numerous intergovernmental forums, including the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and the World Trade Organization.

She has also held positions with and advised non-governmental organizations on topics related to genetic engineering and agriculture, including 10 years as an agriculture campaigner with Greenpeace.  She earned a B.A. in economics from Lehigh University, completed post-baccalaureate study in biology at Humboldt State University, and holds a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California at Davis.


College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit