James C. Arnott

Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI)
Executive Director
James C. Arnott Image

Dr. James Arnott is the Executive Director of Aspen Global Change Institute. Since 1989, AGCI has been an internationally recognized forum for interdisciplinary and solutions-oriented research.

James started his career with AGCI in 2008, finding inspiration from the late climate scientist Stephen H. Schneider’s call for active engagement between science and society. Early encounters with water utilities and city governments seeking to use climate science to inform planning furthered James’ curiosity about what makes science actionable for decision-making. In 2019, James completed doctoral research on the influence of science funding on how research is used in practice. Since becoming AGCI’s Executive Director in 2020, James has led AGCI’s suite of workshop, research, and technical assistance programs. James continues an active research agenda focused on the use of science to support climate and sustainability decision-making.

James co-founded and co-leads the Science of Actionable Knowledge, a working group of social scientists studying the drivers of knowledge use. In 2017, James co-founded the Mountain West Climate Services Partnership. He also represents AGCI in the Secretariat of the Crux Alliance, a consortia working across the largest emitting sectors and countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2011, James was awarded the McCloy Fellowship in Environmental Policy from the American Council on Germany. James is a visiting fellow at the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining AGCI, James conducted research for Flux Farm, an experimental farm exploring the use of biochar for carbon sequestration, and worked in construction for his family’s business. James is married to Melanie D’Evelyn and lives in Denver, Colorado, with their daughter Maya.


PhD, Environment & Sustainability, University of Michigan
BA, Economics and Political Science, Principia College


Denver, Colorado

Joined AGCI