Center Staff

Paul Berkman, Director

Professor Paul Arthur Berkman is building connections between science, diplomacy and information technology to promote cooperation and prevent discord, balancing national interests and common interests for the benefit of all on Earth. He was a visiting professor at the University of California at the age of 24, after wintering the previous year in Antarctica on a SCUBA research expedition. He was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar and former Head of the Arctic Ocean Geopolitics Programme at the University of Cambridge, where he co-directed the first formal dialogue between NATO and Russia regarding environmental security in the Arctic Ocean. He also coordinates the Arctic Options and Pan-Arctic Options projects, involving support from national science agencies in the United States, Russian Federation, Norway, France, China and Canada from 2013-2020.  In September 2015, he joined the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University as Professor of Practice in Science Diplomacy and is now Director of the Science Diplomacy Center. He has an extensive record of interdisciplinary research and publication, including books on Science Diplomacy as well as Science into Policy. For his contributions, Prof. Berkman has received many awards nationally and internationally. Paul is happily married with two daughters. Examples of Prof. Berkman’s research and thought-leadership at the Center can be found here.

Yekaterina Kontar, Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Yekaterina (Katia) Kontar is a postdoctoral scholar and works as an Arctic Data e-Cosystem Scientist with the Pan-Arctic Options project at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Her research focuses on knowledge and information systems in the context of environmental, economic, and societal elements associated with Arctic sustainability. Katia joined the Fletcher School and the Science Diplomacy Center from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she received her doctoral degree in Science Communication and Policy. The focus of Katia’s graduate research was disaster risk reduction in rural Arctic communities. A key accomplishment of her research was a facilitation of a dialogue among stakeholders — tribal and civil leaders of flood-prone communities, federal and university scientists, and representatives from federal agencies — responsible for flood management involved in flood management in both regions. Katia has published multiple peer-reviewed articles, and two interdisciplinary Springer monographs. Her professional background is in science communication and outreach. Katia’s research while at the Science Diplomacy Center can be found here. Connect with Katia on Twitter at @KontarKatia.