Research Directorate

SEI’s four integrated research themes represent different perspectives on sustainable development and serve as cross-centre platforms for synthesis, learning, exchange, and leadership.

The themes generate and develop new research ideas and identify challenges that our work should address, while the theme leadership functions as an institute-wide collective that guides the development of research and enhances its quality and relevance, together with the Research Director, Policy Director and Capacity Development Director.

The four main theme leaders together with the Research Director, Policy Director, Capacity Development Director and Communications Director form an eight-member Research Directorate. This group meets every six weeks. The mandate of this group also covers policy engagement aspects of our research.


Managing Environmental Systems – Theme Leader Patrick Büker
Co-leads: Annette Huber-Lee, Francis X Johnson, Chusit Apirumanekul


Reducing Climate Risk – Theme Leader Richard Klein
Co-leads: Sukaina Bharwani, Charlie Heaps, Guoyi Han


Transforming Governance – Theme Leader Åsa Persson
Co-leads: Babette Resurreccion, Steve Cinderby


Rethinking Development – Theme Leader Karl Hallding
Co-leads: Evelin Urbel-Piirsalu, Chris West