June 12, 2017

Dear colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Professor Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serve as our newest Presidential Fellow. An expert in climate change, air quality and other environmental issues, he will work part-time with me and others on how the U of I System can bring together its many strengths to drive urban sustainability.

Professor Wuebbles is a leader in numerical modeling of atmospheric physics and chemistry, and his research has had a direct impact on regulations to protect the ozone layer and on policy considerations regarding greenhouse gases and their potential impacts on the climate. He has also led studies of the potential impacts of climate change, and resulting considerations for adaptation and resilience. He has been a leader in U.S. National Climate Assessments, and in other national and international assessments of climate science and the resulting impacts on humanity from climate change.

His work as a Presidential Fellow will focus on harnessing System-wide capabilities to promote urban sustainability, capitalizing on our excellence in science, technology and human/social analysis. His project will seek ways to create more livable, prosperous and sustainable cities amid challenges such as climate change, and to reduce crime, energy use, pollution, traffic congestion and urban blight.

Professor Wuebbles, who joined the Urbana-Champaign faculty in 1994, is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and an affiliate professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He led the development of the School of Earth, Society and Environment and was its first director. He also was the first director of the Environmental Council in Urbana-Champaign and is a former head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences.
The Presidential Fellows Program was created to tap into our deep pool of faculty talent for critical initiatives that align with our new Strategic Framework and expand our service to students and the public good.

I am grateful to Professor Wuebbles for sharing his talents, and hope you will join me in welcoming him to this new, important role.



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