Dr Mark Stafford Smith


Dr Mark Stafford Smith is based in Canberra, Australia, and contributes to research on adaptation and sustainable development. He has recently retired from CSIRO, Australia’s national research organisation, where he had been oversighting a highly interdisciplinary program of research on many aspects of adapting to climate change, as well as regularly interacting with national and international policy issues around sustainable development.

He continues as a CSIRO Honorary Fellow, and in several international roles, including as a senior advisor to the chair of the Global Environment Facility’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel in Washington. In Australia, he contributes to Future Earth Australia on sustainability issues, the Outback Alliance on policy for remote areas, the Global Drylands Ecosystem Program network, and various other chairing, editorial and writing roles.

Mark has over 30 years’ experience in drylands systems ecology, management and policy, including senior roles such as CEO of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre in Alice Springs. His significant international roles include being past vice-chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme’s Scientific Committee; co-chair of the 2012 Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions conference on global environmental change in the lead up to Rio+20; and Chair (2013-17) of the inaugural Science Committee for Future Earth, which helps to coordinate research towards global sustainability worldwide. He continues to publish, adding to over 200 peer-reviewed contributions to science, as well as many presentations and publications for less-specialized audiences.