Copyright 2013 Global Interconnections LLC

Dr. Chad M. Briggs

GlobalInt - Strategy Director

Dr. Briggs is a Principal Consultant with GlobalINT.  He has a PhD in political science from Carleton University in Canada, and specializes in translation of complex scientific data into risk assessments and strategic planning.


He worked as Team Leader under the Energy and Environmental Security Directorate at the US Dept of Energy, and from 2008-2010 was Senior Advisor for International Security Affairs and Special Advisor on Climate Change and Strategic Assessment. He led the Abrupt Climate Change & Security team for DOE, which was tasked with developing methods to assess security risks of abrupt climate changes and communicating these to policymakers.


From 2010-2012 he was Minerva Chair of Energy and Environmental Security at the Air University, United States Air Force, and remains a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Environmental Security in Brussels, and Adjunct Research Professor of Geography at Carleton University. Chad has produced a number of reports on strategic environmental intelligence, developed a new risk scenario framework, and briefed numerous leaders and international organizations (e.g. Australian government, OSCE, European Commission, UK MOD, UK DFID, National Academy of Sciences, etc.), including consulting the OSD/DoD.


Chad has also worked on post-conflict reconstruction and environmental health issues, including extensive fieldwork in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. After growing up on a farm in rural Wisconsin, he has studied in nine countries since he was first an exchange student to France in 1984. Since then, he has been a Fulbright Professor in Hungary and Berlin, and a university scientist and government analyst.

Most Current Publications

In December 1995 I was a graduate student on the west coast of Ireland.  Asked to explain why most political experts had failed to predict the fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Cold War, I kept coming back to the point that there was a mismatch between the information we needed, and what our organizations provided. Having a background in ecology, late on a Saturday night I came to the conclusion that new concepts were needed in policy (eg. networked systems and emergent order), and that early warning of risks could only come from engaging with multiple communities.

Since then, I have spent years working to translate these inherently complex concepts between different groups. Whether trying to explain ‘environmental’ issues in Serbian (where the term does not exist), or understanding that Hungarians can describe scientific bias far more precisely than is possible in English, so too can scientific and political questions mean little if a common language is missing.

In my government, academic and military work, I’ve stepped into others’ shoes and developed ways to bridge the divisions between bureaucratic, scientific and cultural communities. Understanding the future is rarely possible when one’s vision is too focused in one particular area, the most important risks and opportunities can too easily be missed. Our mission is to help others broaden that vision and to manage dangerous uncertainties and avoid strategic surprises.

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