Thomas J. Wilbanks,PhD

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Thomas J. Wilbanks is a Corporate Research Fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Associate Director for Research of the Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI). He conducts research on sustainable development, energy and environmental technology and policy, responses to global climate change, and the role of geographical scale in all of these regards.

Wilbanks played roles in the first U.S. National Assessment of Possible Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (1997-2000); the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability) Third Assessment Report (1998-2001); and the UNEP et al. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2001-2005).

More recently, he served as Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Chapter 7: Industry, Settlement, and Society (for which, along with other IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Lead Authors, he was formally recognized as a Co-Laureate for the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace); Coordinating Lead Author or Lead Author for four of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Products in 2008-2010; and a Lead Author of the GCRP report on “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States.” He is a Lead Author for a current IPCC special report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation,” and he has been selected as a Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 20, “Climate-resilient Pathways: Adaptation, Mitigation, and Sustainable Development,”of the IPCC Working Group II’s Fifth Assessment Report.

From 2004 through mid-2010, Wilbanks was Chair of the Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change of the U.S. National Research Council (NRC), and he is a frequent member of other NRC boards, committees, and panels. In November 2008, he was appointed to the committee leading NAS/NRC’s historic two-year study of “America’s Climate Choices,” and he also served as Chair of the panel on “adapting to impacts of climate change” for that report.

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