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François Gemenne

Specialist in climate governance and migration, director of the Hugo Observatory at the University of Liège, teacher at Sciences-Po and the Sorbonne


FR (2020)

François Gemenne is a specialist of environmental geopolitics and migration governance at the University of Liège, where he is a FNRS senior research associate and the Director of the Observatoire Hugo. He also heads the Observatory on Defence and Climate of the French Ministry of Defence, jointly with Julia Tasse at IRIS. He is a lead author for the IPCC and he also lectures on climate change and migration policies in different universities, including Sciences Po and Sorbonne University in Paris.

His research deals mostly with environmental and migration governance. He has worked in particular on populations displaced by environmental changes and the policies of adaptation to climate change, as well as on asylum and migration policies. He has conducted field studies in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, Tuvalu, China, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Mauritius, as well as in Japan after the Fukushima disaster .

He is currently coordinating two important European research projects: MAGYC, on migration governance and asylum crises, as well as HABITABLE, on migration induced by climate change. He also coordinated the DEVAST project, one of the first international projects to examine the social and political consequences of the Fukushima disaster. Furthermore, he has been involved in a large number of international research projects on migration and environmental changes, including EACH-FOR, HELIX, EDGE, MISTY and MECLEP, for which he was the global research coordinator.

n 2015, he was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to pursue research at Princeton University. He has also been a guest professor at the University of Buenos Aires and the University of Economics in Bratislava, and has spent research stays at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, the University of the South Pacific in Suva (Fiji) and the Australian National University in Canberra.

He has also been the scientific advisor of the exhibition Native Land, Stop Eject at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, in Paris. He has consulted for several organisations, including the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the British government (Foresight). In 2010, he was awarded the ISDT-Wernaers Prize for achievement in the communication of science to the general public.

He holds a joint doctorate in political science from Sciences Po Paris and the University of Liege (Belgium). He also holds a Master’s degree in Development, Environment and Societies from the University of Louvain, as well as a Master of Research in Political Science from the London School of Economics, where he also taught. In 2008, he was awarded a post-doctoral scholarship from the AXA Research Fund. He has published in leading journals, including Science and Global Environmental Change, and has authored several books, amongst which ,2 atlas Atlas of Environmental Migration with D. Ionesco et D. Mokhnacheva, Routledge 2016 Atlas de l’Anthropocène, with A. Rankovic et l’Atelier de Cartographie de Sciences Po (Presses de Sciences Po 2019).

He is also the director of the Politics of the Earth series at Presses de Sciences Po, a leading French academic publisher, and the President of the Board of the NGO Climate Voices, which seeks to connect youth from the global North and the global South around climate issues.

He teaches since 2022 during the Theory Masterclass of the Transition Workshop online training.