Dr E.E. Massey

+31 20 59 89576
faculteit der bètawetenschappen ( dep. environmental policy analysis )
Assistant Professor


Eric has been at the Institute for Environmental Studies at the Vrije Universiteit since 2006. Currently he is employed as an Assistant Professor. He works primarily on climate change adaptation policy, environmental governance and the dynamics of policy change. He has taken part in several EU and Dutch government funded projects on other subjects as well, while raising money for research projects. He has been called as an expert for the UNFCCC, and given keynote lectures at conferences. Currently he is also the managing editor of one of the institute’s peer reviewed, ISI rated journals (impact factor 1.214), Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences. In 2009, he became a lecturer in the institute’s Master’s Degree program teaching Environmental Policy and Governance. In that time he has been consistently rated as one of the best teachers in the course with evaluation scores well above the faculty average. He also teaches in the Earth and Economics programme and two Bachelor’s courses, Environment & Development and International Development.

His PhD thesis studies the development of climate change adaptation as a new, developing policy field; an original line of research designed by himself (Thesis title: Innovations in policy: The emergence of climate change adaptation as a new policy field). Eric is the director of his own environmental consulting firm, S&E Associates. Among some of his several projects include reports and papers for the OECD, OSCE, UNDP, and the Belgian Government. Prior to moving to Amsterdam, he worked extensively in the US government; as a policy advisor on Capitol Hill and the Environmental Protection Agency and a researcher and speechwriter in the Clinton White House. He also worked as an international environmental policy expert during an appointment to the OECD in Paris.

Academic training

2011-2016PhD Candidate (thesis defended in December 2016). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2004-2005Master's Degree Environment and Resource Management. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Nederlands.
1991-1994Bachelor of Art – Jewish Studies; Independent Study in Classical Studies. University of Chicago, USA.

Professional employment history

2017-presentAssistant Professor: Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006-2017Researcher: Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2005-present  Director: S&E Associates Environmental Consulting
2001-2003Environmental Expert and Editor: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France
2000-2001Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USA
1999-2000Researcher, Speechwriter, Advance man: The White House, USA  
1997-1999Legislative aide: US House of Representatives & US Senate, USA
1995-1997Customer Support Representative:  Sara Lee Bakery, USA
1995-1995Press Secretary Intern: US House of Representatives, USA

Prizes and recognitions

  • Harold Lasswell prize for best article of the year (2012) in Policy Sciences, 44, 179–198.
  • 2nd place for best paper presentation by PhD student at the 2013 European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA).
  • Research highlighted in journal Nature Climate Change – 2014 November Vol. 4.
  • Interviewed by journal Nature Climate Change for their Policy Watch column – 2013 July Vol. 3

5 Key Publications

Massey, E.E. & Huitema, D. (submitted) Hypothesizing the emergence of climate change adaptation as new policy field: The case of England.

Huitema, D., Adger, W.N, Berkhout, F., Massey, E., Mazmanian, D., Munaretto, S., Plummer, R. & Termeer, C.C.J.A.M. (2016). The governance of adaptation: choices, reasons, and effects. Introduction to the Special Feature. Ecology and Society, 21(3), 37.

Massey, E.E. & Huitema, D (2016). The emergence of climate change adaptation as a new field of public policy in Europe. Regional Environmental Change, 16(2), 553–564.

Massey, E.E. (2015). Adaptation. In Morin, J.F. & Orsini, A. (eds.), Essential Concepts of Global Environmental Governance. London & New York: Routledge Earthscan.

Massey, E.E., Huitema, D., Garrelts, H., Grecksch, K., Mees, H., Rayner, T., Storbjörk, S., Termeer, C. & Winges, M. (2014). Handling adaptation policy choices in Sweden, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. Journal of Water and Climate Change. 10.2166/wcc.2014.110