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University of Wisconsin/Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Associate Director
Interdisciplinary Program Development


Lewis Gilbert joined the institute in 2005 as associate director. He served as interim director from July 2007 to September 2008. Before coming to UW-Madison, he helped design, implement, and manage interdisciplinary programs at several other universities. He was a founding member and, from 1999 to 2003, executive director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. For six years before that, he led a variety of other strategic initiatives at Columbia. He helped organize research teams of earth, life and social scientists, which, under his guidance, launched more than 10 major local and international projects. He left the Earth Institute in 2003 and established his own consulting business but continued to teach a course, Environmental Policy, Politics and Management, for Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. Throughout his career, he has focused on improving the links between scientific understanding and decision- and policy-making. He has written and spoken on the theory of interdisciplinarity and on sustainability and been involved in discussions about the governance of science and technology.