John R. McNeill

Past President

J.R. McNeill is currently University Professor at Georgetown University, where he has taught world history, environmental history, and international history since 1985.  He previously held the Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environmental and International Affairs at Georgetown. Excellent and caring teachers at Swarthmore College and Duke University helped him earn a BA and PhD in history. He has held two Fulbright awards; fellowships from Guggenheim, MacArthur, and the Woodrow Wilson Center; and visiting positions at the universities of Oslo, Canterbury, and Otago, as well as the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2010 was awarded the Toynbee Prize for “academic and public contributions to humanity.” His books explore global, Caribbean, and Mediterranean environmental history and have been translated into 13 languages. He served as president of the American Society for Environmental History (2011–13) and AHA vice president for the Research Division (2012–15). In 2012 he joined the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Union of the Geological Sciences, an interdisciplinary body charged with researching whether or not geologists should recognize the Anthropocene as a new epoch or era in the history of the Earth.