Dr. Someshwar is a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York, in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and at Sciences Po, Paris, in the School of Public Affairs. An expert on climate and sustainable development, he is a Senior Advisor at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). Dr. Someshwar leads multidisciplinary efforts on building development resilience to climate risks. He advises governments and multilateral institutions on identifying and implementing sustainable development action priorities.
Dr. Someshwar is a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI, a Paris-based think tank to facilitate the transition to sustainable development), and the Centre for Wildlife Studies (a center of excellence in India for research, education and in-situ conservation). He is a board member of Arghyam (an Indian philanthropy on safe and sustainable water), and the Center for Climate Risk and Opportunity Management (a Indonesia-based research institute for South East Asia). He has previously worked at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York, the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, and at the World Bank in Washington D.C.
Dr. Someshwar has designed and taught several graduate level courses at Columbia University including “Sustainable Development Practice” (SIPA, 2014-present), “Managing Risks of a Changing Climate for Sustainable Development” and “Managing Climate Variability and Adapting to Climate Change: Science, policies and tools” (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 2004-2006, 2009, and 2010), and capstone efforts on climate change and adaptation (SIPA, 2011 and 2012). In 2004, he helped develop Columbia University's graduate program on Climate and Society. At Sciences Po, he teaches the graduate course “Sustainable Development: Narratives, policymaking and practice.” He has developed and conducted numerous training events on integrating climate risk management into national and regional plans and on sustainable development policies for government agencies, universities, research institutes, and multi-lateral organizations in more than 20 countries.
As principal investigator, Dr. Someshwar has led several international research efforts including at the Earth Institute (2015- period, listed here): Agenda 2030: Supporting Sustainable Development Goals through strategic partnerships and preparedness at the Asian Development Bank (with G. Denning and A. Shah), Advancing fire risk management in Papua Indonesia (with P. Tias, A. P. Situmorang), Budgetary and fiscal transfer incentives for peat forest fire prevention in Indonesia (with S. Mumbunan, J. Kieft, R. Boer), Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals: Cohesive framework scoping for ADB’s response (with G. Denning and A. Shah), Institutional dynamics of forest fire management (with B. Melloy, R. Patriana), Communication protocol to enhance anticipatory forest fire management in Indonesia (with B. Melloy), Analytical and planning tools for urban climate resilience (with J. Fung, K. Baroang), Risk factors, planning gaps and critical decision pathways for urban climate disaster risk reduction (M. Pastor, M. Slotznick, K. Baroang), and Enhancing city of Guwahati’s climate resilience (J. Hosagrahar, K. Baroang, A. Chanchal, S. Dash).
Dr. Someshwar is the editor of Re-living the memories of an Indian forester: Memoir of S. Shyam Sunder (Manipal University Press, forthcoming). He is currently writing a book on the impacts of institutional complexity and evidence on development planning and policymaking. His recent publications include “Realizing Sustainable Development Goals: The prescience of John Friedmann” (In Insurgencies and Revolutions, edited by H. Rangan et al. Routledge, 2017); “Supporting the SDGs. Proposed Asian Development Bank Response” (with G. Denning and A. Shah, 2017); “Towards Anticipatory Management of Peat Fires to Enhance Local Resilience and Reduce Natural Capital Depletion” (with J. Kieft, T, Smith and R. Boer, in Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation in Practice, edited by F. G. Renaud et al, Springer International, 2016); “Development of Fire Risk System” (with R. Boer and others), Institut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia, 2015); and “Green Growth and Equity in the Context of Climate Change” (with Jeffrey Sachs in Managing the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy, edited by V. Anbumozhi et al. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute, 2015).
Dr. Someshwar received a Ph.D. in urban planning (with a focus on environment) in 1995 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and he was a Bell-MacArthur fellow at Harvard University. He has two masters’ degrees on housing and environmental planning, and is also trained as a professional architect.