Syracuse University

Chancellor's Cabinet and Administrative Staff

Sherburne B. Abbott

Vice President for Sustainability InitiativesSherburne B. Abbott

Sherburne “Shere” B. Abbott is Vice President for Sustainability Initiatives and University Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at Syracuse University.  Prior to this appointment in June 2011, she was a senior advisor to President Obama, serving as the associate director for environment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.  She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 30, 2009.  Previously, Abbott was a faculty member of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin and served as the director of the Center for Science and Practice of Sustainability in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.  From 2003-2005, she served as chief international officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS),  where she was responsible for the International Office, and where she established and directed the Center for Science, Innovation and Sustainable Development.  Prior to this appointment, she consulted on environmental science and sustainable development for private foundations, the World Bank, the Brookings Institution, and other non-governmental organizations. Until 2001, Abbott worked at the National Academies’ National Research Council over a 17-year period, serving in several capacities—executive director of the Board on Sustainable Development, where she directed the Sustainability Transition Study and the Global Change Research Program; director of International Organization Programs for the Office of International Affairs; and, director of the Polar Research Board.   She also served as assistant scientific program director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, where she managed the research program and developed a model of environmental research for monitoring human impacts in Antarctica.   Abbott earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Goucher College and her master’s degree in environmental science and natural resource policy from Yale University, where she was a Dodge Fellow in Human – Animal Ecology.