Brandeis announced Peter C. Frumhoff, a prominent climatologist, as the 2022 Richman Distinguished Fellow in Public Life.

Frumhoff currently serves as the chief climate scientist and the director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a national non profit organization whose mission, according to their website, is to use “rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems.” Frumhoff is a prolific writer and speaker on topics including climate change and its impacts, climate science and policy, tropical forest conservation and biodiversity. 

In a BrandeisNOW article, President Ron Leibowitz said, “Peter Frumhoff is an eminent ecologist whose contributions to the public discourse around climate change deepen our collective understanding of one of the most challenging issues of our time and call us to action. I will be pleased to welcome Professor Frumhoff to campus next year.”

According to the Brandeis website, “Richman Fellows are selected from among individuals active in public life whose contributions have had a significant impact on improving American society, strengthening democratic institutions, advancing social justice or increasing opportunities for all citizens to realize and share in the benefits of this nation.” Appointment as a Fellow requires the individual to spend two to three days on Brandeis’ campus. Frumhoff’s residency will be held on March 29 to 31, 2022.

Frumhoff was a leading author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was a leading contributor to the IPCC Special Report "Land Use, Land-use Change, and Forestry" in 2000. He also guided the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment, which, according to the Adaptation Clearinghouse website, was “a collaboration between the Union of Concerned Scientists and a team of more than fifty independent experts to develop and communicate a new assessment of climate change, impacts on climate-sensitive sectors, and solutions in the northeastern United States.” 

Frumhoff is currently a member of the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, as well as the Board of Editors of the journal “Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.” He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science at the United State Department of Interior, and the Board of Editors of the journal “Ecological Applications.”

Frumhoff was the 2014 Cox Visiting Professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, and has previously taught at Harvard University, the University of Maryland and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was also an American Association for the Advancement of Science and Diplomacy Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

Frumhoff received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at San Diego, and a master’s in zoology and a PhD in ecology from the University of California at Davis. 

The Richman Distinguished Fellowship in Public Life was created by Brandeis alumna Dr. Carol Richman Saiveitz ’69, along with her children, Michael Saivetz ’97 and Aliza Saivetz Glasser ’01, in honor of Carol’s parents, Fred and Rita Richman. 

The fellowship is hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.