Climate scientist Erin Coughlan de Perez to join Feinstein faculty on March 1, 2021

The Feinstein International Center and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Erin Coughlan de Perez as Associate Professor and inaugural recipient of the Dignitas Professorship at the Friedman School Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Previously manager of the Climate Centre’s science team, Erin will retain a part-time role at the Climate Centre as a senior advisor.

The two groups share a vision to improve outcomes for vulnerable people around the world and aim  to inspire a new generation of leaders to tackle these global challenges, including through joint research projects and internships.

The Climate Centre has built expertise in climate risk management across timescales, linking research with Red Cross teams and their partners around the world. “The sum of this partnership is bigger than its parts: the Red Cross will benefit from the broad expertise and policy work of a premier research centre, and the university will benefit from our connections to climate policy and practice,” says Maarten van Aalst, director of the Climate Centre.

The Feinstein International Center generates evidence and learning to improve how humanitarians can protect and strengthen the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of people affected by or at risk of humanitarian crises. People living in conflict-affected areas are often unusually vulnerable to climate extremes, and this risk has increased steadily with the changing climate. Greg Gottlieb, director of the Feinstein International Center noted, “Feinstein is fortunate to have someone of Erin’s experience and creativity to couple climate research with our broad range of expertise and  enable us to benefit from and build a productive collaboration with the Climate Centre.”

“In this collaboration, we aim to help bring academic analysis to humanitarian operations in climate risk management. For example, we can help analyze whether forecast-based financing interventions have improved food security, and for whom,” says Coughlan de Perez. “One of the strengths of an academic collaboration is to also explore the questions that practitioners might not realize they should ask, such as how extreme events of the future might be different from the past, and how they might combine and compound to have cascading effects.”

Erin will begin her position at Tufts on March 1, 2021.