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Announcing the 'Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy'

The International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) has created a named award for Andrew Light, University Professor and the director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at Mason. The ISEE created the “Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy” in honor of Andrew’s tireless commitment to bringing philosophy to the public sphere, through his work, both within and outside of government, on climate and environmental policy.

In the Daily Nous, Ben Hale, president of the ISEE, recognized Light's work in the last administration, both in and outside of government, on the creation of the Paris Agreement.

"Thanks to his outstanding commitment to bringing his insight and critical eye to environmental policy-making, it’s fair to say that we’ve not only benefited as a community of environmental philosophers, but also as members of the world community."

In announcing the award, the ISEE made special note of Andrew’s work in international climate change policy for the last decade aimed at creating and now defending the Paris Agreement on climate change. From 2013-2016 Andrew served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, and as a Staff Climate Adviser in Secretary of State Kerry’s Office of Policy Planning in the U.S. Department of State. Prior to his time at the State Department, while holding his post at Mason, Andrew was also a Senior Fellow working in international climate and energy policy at the Center for American Progress.

Ken Shockley, the Holmes Rolston III Chair in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy at Colorado State University, announced the award by noting, “Andrew has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity for working across traditional barriers and boundaries, whether between disciplines or between public policy and academic work. His own academic production in the meantime has been staggering: 19 books authored or edited and well over 100 articles, book chapters and policy reports. He is one of the originators of environmental pragmatism and founding co-editor of the journal, Ethics, Policy, and Environment, now in its 20th year.” According to Jesse Kirkpatrick, assistant director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, the ISEE's creation of the Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy is a testimony to "Andrew's ongoing efforts to use philosophy in order to address pressing issues in public policy."

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