Richard Matthew is a professor in the schools of social ecology and social science at the University of California at Irvine, and founding director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs. He studies the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding, climate change adaptation in conflict and post-conflict societies, and the process of transitioning societies from crisis to sustainability. Matthew has done extensive field work in conflict zones in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. His research is widely diffused beyond academic outlets to support the efforts of practitioners in the conservation and humanitarian communities. He was the lead author of the United Nations policy justification, From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment.
Matthew is a senior fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Geneva; a senior fellow at the Munk School at the University of Toronto; a senior member of the UNEP Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding; and a member of the World Conservation Union’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. He has served on several UN missions, including two that he led to Sierra Leone, and he was the lead author of the UN technical report, Sierra Leone: Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding Assessment.