Saleem Ali

Dr. Saleem Ali, Ph.D. is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Natural Resources. He holds an adjunct faculty appointment at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies and is a senior fellow United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. He has been named a 2010 National Geographic Emerging Explorer.

Dr. Ali is a leading scholar on Transboundary conservation zones or “peace parks,” causes and consequences of environmental conflicts, and the environmental and social impact of gemstone mining. Among many professional endeavors, Dr. Ali works as a professional mediator, promotes environmental education in madrassahs (Islamic religious schools) in Pakistan, contributes regularly to Pakistan’s Daily Times, and is a member of the expert advisory group at the United Nations Environment Programme. In 2007 he was chosen by Seed magazine as one of 8 “Revolutionary Minds in the World” in recognition of his work using environmental factors as a means of conflict resolution.

The World Economic Forum has named Saleem Ali a Young Global Leader for 2011 for his distinguished professional accomplishments, commitment to society, and potential to contribute to shaping a better future for the world.

To learn more about Saleem Ali, please visit


Read Saleem Ali's 2009 article in Foreign Policy, "Energizing Peace".


See Saleem Ali's TEDx talk, "Humanizing Environmental Ideals," at Hampshire College.

Published work

Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed, and A Sustainable Future (Yale University Press, October 2009); Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan (Oxford University Press, July 2009);Earth Matters: Indigenous Peoples, the Extractive Industries, and Corporate Responsibility; (Green Leaf Publishing, November 2008); Peace Parks: Conservation and Conflict Resolution (MIT Press, September 2007); Mining: The Environment and Indigenous Development Conflicts (Arizona University Press, 2003)

Latest News

The Observer has included Saleem Ali on their list of "Green Giants," a list of 20 leading figures on environmental issues, as an "Eco Diplomat." The article says of Ali:

"The pervading fear is that global disputes over water and land-based resources are likely to escalate into conflict. But professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont and experienced mediator Saleem H Ali thinks natural resources have the capacity to unite, not just divide. A fan of peace parks (border regions used to resolve disputes by giving conflicting countries incentives to maintain them), he considers consumption of material goods to be a good thing. "Money from oil wealth can be used to invest in other sectors. And that in turn can yield sustainable development," he told Forbes magazine. He does, however, agree that Nigeria is the exception to this idea. Good – we'd hate him to be in conflict with Nnimmo Bassey."