Richard Matthew

Picture of Richard Matthew
Professor, Urban Planning and Public Policy
School of Social Ecology
Director, Center for Unconventional Security Affairs
Director, Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation
Associate Dean - Research and International Programs
School of Social Ecology
PH.D., Princeton University
Phone: (949) 824-4852
Fax: (949) 824-8566
University of California, Irvine
212C SE I
Mail Code: 7075
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Enviromental change, conflict and security; sustainable development; enviromental justice; enviromental policy; global governance
Academic Distinctions
Dr. Matthew has received Certificates of Recognition for his research and service activities from the U.S. Congress, the California State Legislature and the City of Los Angeles, as well as the SGI Liberty Medal. He established the Human Security Award, which is given annually to individuals and groups who have made a substantial contribution to human security. He has given two Moth talks and four TEDx lectures including one on his peacebuilding activities:
Research Abstract
Richard A. Matthew (BA McGill; PhD Princeton) is a Professor in the Schools of Social Ecology and Social Science at the University of California at Irvine, and founding Director of the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation (

He studies (a) the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding; (b) climate change adaptation in conflict and post-conflict societies; and (c) the process of transitioning societies from crisis to sustainability. He has done extensive field work in conflict zones in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. His research is widely diffused beyond academic outlets to support the efforts of practitioners in the conservation and humanitarian communities. He was, for example, the lead author of the United Nations policy justification, From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment.

He is also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Geneva; a senior member of the United Nations Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding; and a member of the World Conservation Union’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. He has served on 12 UN missions, including two that he led to Sierra Leone, and he was the lead author of the UN technical report, Sierra Leone: Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding Assessment.

He has over 130 publications. Recent books and co-edited volumes include Contested Grounds: Security and Conflict in the New Environmental Politics (SUNY Press: 1999); Dichotomy of Power: Nation versus State in World Politics (Lexington: 2002); Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods, and Security (IISD: 2002); Reframing the Agenda: The Impact of NGO and Middle Power Cooperation in International Security Policy (Praeger: 2003); Landmines and Human Security: International Relations and War’s Hidden Legacy (SUNY Press: 2004); Global Environmental Change and Human Security (MIT Press: 2010).
Research Centers
Global Peace and Conflict Studies Center
Center for the Study of Democracy
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