Richard E. Benedick

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Richard Elliot Benedick is President of the National Council for Science and the Environment. He is a former diplomat and was chief United States negotiator to the Montreal Protocol on protection of the ozone layer. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Environmental affairs[edit]

Ambassador Richard Benedick has played a major role in global environmental affairs as chief U.S. negotiator and a principal architect of the historic Montreal Protocol on protection of the ozone layer,[1] and as Special Advisor to Secretaries-General of both the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) and the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994). After serving several years on Battelle’s International Advisory Board, he became in 1998 Deputy Director in the Environmental and Health Sciences Division at their Washington D.C. office of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and since 2001 is Senior Advisor to the PNNL-University of Maryland Joint Global Change Research Institute.

Since 1994 Dr. Benedick has also been President of the National Council for Science and the Environment, an organization of about 500 universities, scientific societies, industry and civic groups dedicated to improving the scientific basis for environmental decision making.[2] He is concurrently Visiting Fellow since 1995 at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (Social Science Research Center). His acclaimed book, Ozone Diplomacy: New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet (Harvard University Press, 1991, enlarged ed. 1998; Japanese ed. 1999), was selected by McGraw-Hill Education for an anthology of twentieth-century environmental classics and is used in universities throughout the world. He has lectured at about 80 professional bodies and universities, serves on several boards, and is consulted by international agencies, governments, foundations and industry. He has organized and/or presided over numerous international conferences and negotiations on environment, development, population, and science policy. In 2005, he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Analysis of Global Change Assessments. He currently focuses on climate policy and has promoted the concept of “an architecture of parallel regimes.” He is regularly cited by U.S. and international media.


A career diplomat, Dr. Benedick served in Iran, Pakistan, France, Germany (Bonn), and Greece.[2] As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health, and Natural Resources,[2] he supervised policy formation and international negotiations on climate change, stratospheric ozone, biotechnology, tropical forests, oceans, wildlife conservation, and AIDS.[3] Previously, he headed policy divisions at State Department responsible for global population policies and biomedical research, and for economic assistance and multilateral finance. In 1977, he was selected for the Senior Seminar, the U.S. government’s highest study program. He has led many international delegations and testified before the U.S. Congress and foreign parliaments, most recently in 2005 before the Senate on science and environmental policy.

Awards and publications[edit]

Benedick was elected in 1991 to the World Academy of Art and Science, and in 2002 to the American Academy of Diplomacy, an association of 100 former cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, and statesmen “who have made notable contributions to American foreign policy.” He received the highest Presidential career public service honors (Distinguished and Meritorious Service Awards), the State Department’s John Jacob Rogers medal, and the 1997 United Nations Global Ozone Award and 2007 Twentieth Anniversary Ozone Award. Other distinctions include two State Department Superior Honor medals; visiting fellow, National Center for Atmospheric Research; senior fellow, World Wildlife Fund; Stimson Fellow in International Relations at Yale University; Phi Beta Kappa; Tönisssteiner Kreis; and awards from the Academy of Athens, the Climate Institute, the Holy See, and Population Reference Bureau. He has been in Who’s Who in America since 1980.

Over 120 publications in the U.S. and abroad include Industrial Finance in Iran, From Amenemhet to Aswan: Transformation of the Nile, and articles/chapters published by, i.a., The American Assembly, American Physical Society, Aspen Institute, Max Planck Gesellschaft, National Academy of Sciences, and Scientific American. He holds an A.B. summa cum laude, Columbia; M.A. (honors, economics) Yale; D.B.A. Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration; Evans Fellow at Oxford, in metaphysical poetry; D.Sc. honoris causa, North Carolina State University, 2004.


  1. ^ "Ozone Diplomacy: New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet". The National Journal. March 30, 1991. p. 764.
  2. ^ a b c Stevens, William (March 8, 1994). "Push for Environment Institute". The New York Times. p. 4.
  3. ^ Shabecoff, Philip (June 23, 1987). "A Wrangle Over Ozone Policy". The New York Times.