Donald Brown’s Bio

Donald A. Brown is Scholar In Residence, Sustainability Ethics and Law, Widener University Commonwealth Law School where he teaches International Environmental Law, International Human Rights Law, and Climate Change Law. In November 2019, he was awarded by UNESCO in Paris, the Avicenna Award for Excellence in Ethics in Science for his work on climate change ethics. The award came with a $50,000 cash prize and an invitation form UNESCO to discuss the importance of getting traction for ethics in international responses to environmental problems that can’t be solved at the national level with national representatives to UNESCO in Paris and Bangkok. In Oct, 2020 he was named the Elizabethtown College Peace Fellow. In 2019 he was awarded the Torch of Global Enlightenment Award by the Central Pennsylvania World Affairs Council. He holds a B.S in Commerce and Engineering Sciences from Drexel University, a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, an M.A in Liberal Studies majoring in philosophy and art from the New School University. In 2013 he was Visiting Professor, Nagoya University Law School, Nagoya, Japan where he taught human rights and international environmental law. He was recently named a Visiting Professor at Nanjing University of Science and Technology Sciences in Nanjing China. In 2014 he was a visiting lecturer at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia and in 2017 a visiting lecturer at Auckland University Law School where he lectured on climate change ethics and law.  He is also a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 5th Assessment and 6th Assessment.  In 2009, he was invited by the US State Department to give a lecture on  to the Scottish Parliament in Edinboro on the Ethics of Climate Change while they were debating a new national climate target. In 1994, he was invited by UNEP to organize the first conference on the ethical dimensions of global sustainability issues at UN headquarters. In 1995 he was invited by UN Under Secretary of State Maurice Strong to participate along with 45 others including former Russian Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands to prepare the first draft of the Earth Charter. In 2006 he was invited by the UN Environment Program to become a lead author of the Global Environmental Outlook, the UNEP summary of global environmental issues.  Previously he was an Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law at the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to that, he was an environmental lawyer for the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey Departments of Environmental Protection.   During the Clinton administration he was Program Manager for UN Organizations at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of International Environmental Activities in which position he represented the US EPA at UN institutions responsible for international environmental issues including climate change, biodiversity, and other international sustainability issues. His most recent book was published in 2012 by Routledge, Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm, Climate Ethics. In 1994 he was invited by UNEP to organize a conference  at the UN  on  ethical issues that arise in the implementation of Agenda 21, the UN program on environment and development which was attended by 200 people including 58 speakers. In 1998 the EPA Office of  International Activities gave him a plaque acknowledging his contribution to the EPA International Activities.  He is a coeditor of  new Routledge Handbook  on Applied Climate Ethics which has 39 chapters written by 39 authors from 15 countries which will be published this September. A new book describing the successful adoption of  regulations improving  and preventing contaminated  ground and surface water in New Jersey when  he was the NJ DEP director of the Office of Regulation and Enforcement and preventing coal mining harms while he was Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Council at PA DEP.   He manages the award-winning web site,, which contains over 200 articles and videos examining ethical issues that arise in climate change policy formation.  He has taught climate change ethics in 38 countries approximately 75 times.   Hie first book American Heat, Ethical Problems with the US response to Climate Change, 2002, A later book published in 2015. Ethics and Ciliate Change. A Study of National Commitments published by IUCN Press Edited by Donald Brown, and Prue Taylor, examined 13 countries from an ethical perspective.