Faculty & Staff

Gaël Giraud

Fr. Gaël Giraud is an alumnus of the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and ENSAE. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at the École Polytechnique (Paris). He served two years in Chad as a teacher, where he also founded a center for street children (still running today). He is a senior researcher at the CNRS in economics, has published about 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, written 4 books, and supervised around 20 Ph.D. students. From 1999-2004, he worked as a quantitative engineer and scientific advisor for investment banks (CPR, Calyon, Jean-Michel Lasry’s team). In 2004 he entered the Society of Jesus. In 2009, he was nominated as the best young French economist (Le Monde). In 2013 he was ordained as a priest. In 2015, he founded and directed the Energy and Prosperity Chair (ENS, X, ENSAE) and was appointed Chief Economist and Executive Director of the French Development Agency (AFD). Since 2017, he has been a permanent fellow at the Nantes Institute for Advanced Studies. Since 2018, he has been an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Since 2020, he has been appointed as a professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy and Founder and Director of the Environmental Justice Program at Georgetown University.

Brianna Butler

Brianna is a Washington, DC native. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Delaware State University and is currently studying to receive her Master’s in Higher Education Administration at Georgetown University. Brianna strives to make higher education more affordable and accessible to marginalized communities. She loves hanging out with family and friends, cooking and baking, or binge-watching a series in her free time.

Jennifer Eagleton

Jennifer Eagleton

Thriving within entrepreneurial ventures at research institutions, Jennifer has worked to accelerate transdisciplinary research, drive science-based conservation action, and strengthen science education.

Before joining GEJP, she was the Director of Interdisciplinary Initiatives at the Georgetown Environment Initiative, a cross-campus effort to advance the University’s contribution to global environmental and sustainability efforts.  Before Georgetown, Jennifer worked to launch the programs and partnerships of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the new transdisciplinary institute at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, as its Associate Director for Partnership Programs.

In addition, Jennifer worked for seven years at the Field Museum in Chicago where she worked with the biologists, anthropologists, and educators of the Environmental and Conservation Programs to support science-based action in the creation and management of national parks and other protected areas in South America. Jennifer also directed online programs connecting the public to the behind-the-scenes science of the Museum, and she started the Museum’s Educational Media Division where she led the team of scientists and educators who sent Museum scientists and collections into classrooms nationwide through television broadcasts, webcasts, online curricula, print educator guides, and portable exhibit cases. 

Jennifer began her career as an employment relations attorney at Winston & Strawn. She has an MBA from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and she graduated with honors from Princeton University.

Frédéric Mortier 

Frédéric Mortier is a senior statistician working for the last 20 years on various aspects of applied statistics, with a focus on the development and the application of modern statistical tools in ecology, quantitative population genetics, and macroeconomy. His statistical expertise includes multivariate models taking into account spatial dependencies in large datasets, variable selection, mixture models, Bayesian inference and machine learning. In particular, he has used these models to understand the impact of global changes on tropical ecosystems.”


Naresh Neupane

I am an Assistant Research Professor at Georgetown University. I am an atmospheric scientist (climate modeler), with a focus on Atmospheric Dynamics by training. I have a wide set of research interests: statistical models, regional and global climate models, economic models, machine learning/ artificial intelligence. Some of my projects include: building statistical models for butterfly (insect) migration/ population projection at present and in the future under global warming, using ML/AI techniques in image recognition, and coupling economic models with the climate model. At GEJP I am working on coupling the economic model with the global climate model to explore the relationship between economic development and the global climate system in the future under various greenhouse forcing scenarios.

Pauline Smith

Pauline Smith.

Take a moment to gather your thoughts.

Pauline’s work aims to build a better understanding of our relationship to nature, and create policy recommendations for campuses that want to foster their students relationship with nature. Feeling connected with nature can be a powerful drive towards a more sustainable lifestyle as well as a source of happiness, but we are not sure how to foster this feeling in adults, or what the cognitive basis of this connectedness are. Pauline investigates these questions by exploring the role of attention built through habits, as well as drawing insights from subjective accounts of people’s relationship with the natural world.

Mark Swilling

Mark Swilling smiling in a natural setting.

Synchronicity, Synergy & Energy

Mark’s research over the past three decades has addressed many issues, but the core focus has been transition. During the 1980s and early 1990s, his focus was on the transitions to democracy that swept across Latin America, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and then Africa in the 1990s (including SA in 1994). During the 1990s his focus was urban transition, with special reference to the building of the Lynedoch EcoVillage from the late 1990s. From the early 2000s, his focus has been on sustainability transitions culminating in various publications including his co-authored book Just Transitions in an Unfair World (2012). Drawing on many different intellectual influences (Dutch transition theory, African philosophy, Roberto Unger’s theory of change, long-wave thinking, state theory (especially Jessop) and anticipatory thinking, Mark’s latest book (The Age of Sustainability) provides the basis for his work at GEJP. He intends to focus on energy transition and the collibratory governance of non-equilibrium economic dynamics.

Paul Valcke

Paul Valcke smiling in front of trees.

Feedback, Interaction, Emergence

Paul’s work aims at the creation of economical models that can take into account the dynamics of inequalities in a society. This work is integrated in a larger approach of economical models that can take into account spatial effects, energy, resources, climate and biodiversity. His work is based on dynamical models from economy, but also from statistical physics, theoretical ecology, and morphogenesis.