Dr. Rod Schoonover
Head of Ecological Security Program
Council on Strategic Risks
As a scholar, writer, and thought leader with deep expertise in both the biophysical sciences and national security, Rod Schoonover is an internationally recognized expert on global ecological disruption and climate change and their impacts on people, societies, and security. For a decade in senior roles in the US intelligence community, both at the National Intelligence Council and the State Department, Dr. Schoonover helped establish ecological and environmental issues within the core national security framework of the U.S. government. He has provided written and oral security analyses on climate change, water security, food security, ecological disruption, wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illegal fishing, and a number of related scientific issues.
A gifted communicator, Dr. Schoonover speaks on ecological security and climate change issues to diverse audiences worldwide and on media outlets such as CBS, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and numerous podcasts and panels. Currently, he is CEO and Founder of Ecological Futures Group, Senior Fellow and Board Member at the Council on Strategic Risks, Associate (Non-Resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
In government, Dr. Schoonover was a four-time recipient of the State Department's Superior Honor Award and received several awards for excellence in analysis from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In 2015, Dr. Schoonover was awarded the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research Analyst of the Year, its highest honor, for outstanding analysis of scientific and environmental issues with significant impact on U.S. national security and foreign policy. His passion for scientific integrity and evidence-driven, apolitical analysis compelled him to resign from the Trump administration in July 2019.
Prior to government service, Dr. Schoonover was a tenured Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He earned his PhD in complex systems physics from the University of Michigan. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and daughter, loves noise pop and country-punk music, plays acoustic guitar about as well as he plays electric, motorcycles when he can, and reads scientific journals both professionally and for pleasure.