Donald Brown’s Bio


Donald A. Brown is Scholar In Residence for Sustainability Ethics and Law, Widener University Commonwealth Law School where he teaches International Environmental Law, Human Rights, and Climate Change Law. In November 2019, he was awarded by UNESCO in Paris, the Avicenna Award for Excellence in Ethics and Science for his work on climate change ethics. The award came with a $50,000 cash prize. On Oct. 28, 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 Counsel. 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 where he also was in the PhD. program in philosophy. In 2013 he was Visiting Professor, Nagoya University Law School, Nagoya, Japan where he taught human rights and international environmental law. He has recently been a Visiting Professor at Nanjing University of Science and Technology Studies 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 in New Zealand 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 to the Scottish Parliament in Edinboro on the Ethics of Climate Change while they were debating a new national climate change law. In 1994, he was invited by UNEP to organize the first UN conference on the ethical dimensions of global environmental issues at UN headquarters. In 1995 he was invited by UN Under Secretary of State Maurice Strong to participate along with 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 1998, the EPA Office of international Activities Acknowledged his Contribution to Global Environmental Governance, In 2006 he was invited by the UN Environment Program to become a lead author of the Global Environmental Outlook, the UN’s summary of global environmental issues.  Previously he was the 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. 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 negotiating at the UN climate change, biodiversity, and other sustainability issues. His most recent book was published in 2012 by Rutledge, Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm, Climate Ethics. He has written over 100 books, book chapters, or peer reviewed articles on environmental and sustainability ethics and law.  He has also written over 200 articles on ethical issues that arise in climate policy formation that have appeared in a variety of journals and publications. 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 or lectured on climate change ethical issues in 38 countries approximately 75 times.