Sherburne Abbott

University Professor, Geography and the Environment, by Courtesy Appointment

Sherburne Abbott

Contact Information

144 Eggers Hall

Director, Environment, Sustainability, and Policy ILM


M.F.S., Yale University


Climate change, energy, sustainability


Prior to her current appointment, Sherburne “Shere” Abbott served as Vice President for Sustainability Initiatives, creating integrated approaches to sustainability, and advancing the University’s commitment to leadership in sustainability in higher education. Abbott provided oversight of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems and directed the Center for Sustainable Community Solutions and its Environmental Finance Center.

Previously, she served as a deputy to President Obama’s Science Advisor in the Senate-confirmed position of Associate Director for Environment and Energy in the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and worked with scientific organizations, including serving as the Chief International Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as director of the Board on Sustainable Development, the Polar Research Board, and International Organizations and Programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 

Abbott also served as the director of the Center for Science and Practice of Sustainability in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Texas at Austin, and as a faculty member of the College of Liberal Arts. Previously, she served as chief international officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to that appointment, over a 17-year period at the National Academies’ National Research Council, she served as executive director of the Board on Sustainable Development, the director of international organization programs for the Office of International Affairs, and the director of the Polar Research Board of the National Academies’ National Research Council. Abbott also served as assistant scientific program director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission. 

Abbott received her A.B. from Goucher College and her M.F.S. from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is recognized as an internationally known expert in sustainability.