Dr. Tegan Blaine is the senior advisor on environment and conflict at the U.S. Institute of Peace.  

Prior to joining USIP in 2020, she served as vice president on a climate change initiative at the National Geographic Society. She also led the climate change team in USAID’s Bureau for Africa for over a decade, where she developed USAID’s strategy and investment plan for its climate change work in Africa, and built and led a team that provided thought leadership and technical support to USAID’s Africa missions.

Before USAID, Dr. Blaine worked on climate change and international development at McKinsey & Company; served as a policy advisor on water at the U.S. Department of State; and taught math and physics as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania.

Dr. Blaine has a doctorate in oceanography and climate from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and bachelor’s degrees in comparative literature and mathematical ecology from Brown University. She has taught about climate change and international development at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Publications By Tegan

Climate change risks new violent conflict. How to respond?

Climate change risks new violent conflict. How to respond?

Monday, July 19, 2021

By: Tegan Blaine, Ph.D.

As climate change amplifies weather disasters and destabilizes food and water supplies, recent research is confirming its effects on the global south: Our planet’s warming is weakening already fragile states, increasing the risk of violent conflicts and accelerating human displacement and migration. Like any global shock, it is putting poorer nations most at risk. The United States and the international community can counter these rising hazards by setting basic priorities in assistance programs. Among these are to target cities with a strategy that helps local populations adapt to climate change and manage conflicts nonviolently, and to strengthen regional organizations’ abilities to tackle fragility problems.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Economics & Environment

Can the World Go Green Without Destabilizing Oil-Pumping Nations?

Can the World Go Green Without Destabilizing Oil-Pumping Nations?

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

By: Benjamin J. Spatz; Alex de Waal; Aditya Sarkar; Tegan Blaine, Ph.D.

Amid the dizzying acceleration of headlines and debate about the vital global transition to renewable energy, new research shows how that change could destabilize dozens of fragile states that depend heavily on oil exports. The new study underscores that governments and international institutions will need to guard against risks that the shift away from carbon-heavy fuels will inadvertently upset political balances and potentially ignite violent conflicts in a swath of nations from Venezuela to Nigeria to Iraq and beyond. Above all, the research suggests, the world must avoid an unplanned “traumatic decarbonization” of these economies.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment; Fragility & Resilience

A ‘green economy’ risks new conflicts—but that’s avoidable.

A ‘green economy’ risks new conflicts—but that’s avoidable.

Monday, April 19, 2021

By: Tegan Blaine, Ph.D.; Chris Collins

The United States will host 40 world leaders this week to accelerate the fight against global warming. In those talks and in the imperative changes to come, officials and advocates must watch for an unintended danger of new policies—their potential to ignite or inflame violent conflicts. A key to reducing this danger is to marry reforms for a cleaner global economy to those for transparent, accountable governance and commerce. Put simply, any successful greening of the global economy will heighten the costs and violence that humanity risks from corruption and authoritarianism worldwide.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment

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