Todd Stern

Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs
Areas of Expertise Energy & Environment, International Institutions, US Foreign Policy
Areas of Interest Climate change; broadly operation of the White House and State Department and Washington politics


Todd Stern is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a nonresident distinguished fellow at the Asia Society, concentrating on climate change. Stern served from January 2009 until April 2016, as the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the Department of State. He was President Obama’s chief climate negotiator, leading the U.S. effort in negotiating the Paris Agreement and in all bilateral and multilateral climate negotiations in the seven years leading up to Paris.

Stern is currently focused on writing about the climate negotiations and continues to engage on climate change at both the international and domestic levels.

Stern served under President Clinton in the White House from 1993 to 1999, mostly as assistant to the president and staff secretary. From 1997 to 1999, he coordinated the administration’s initiative on global climate change. From 1999 to 2001, Stern served as counselor to Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers.


"Landing the Paris Climate Agreement: How It Happened, Why It Matters and What Comes Next" (MIT Press, publication date September 17, 2024)

“Biden’s Scorecard on Climate Change,” Foreign Affairs, November 26, 2021 (with John Podesta)

“A Foreign Policy for the Climate,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2020 (with John Podesta)

“Can the United States and China Reboot Their Climate Cooperation?” The Brookings Institution, September 14, 2020

“The Paris Agreement and Its Future,” The Brookings Institution, October, 2018

“How to Shift Public Attitudes and Win the Global Climate Battle,” Yale Environment 360, October 25, 2018


The Past, Present and Future of Global Climate Change (with Professors Douglas Kysar and Harold Koh), Yale Law School, Fall Semester 2016

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Spring 2024 practitioner-led study groups

These not-for-credit study groups provide an opportunity for students to delve deeply into topics and apply theory and research to real world challenges. Enrollment in each group is limited to 25 students.
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