Jonathan B. Wiener

William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law
Professor of Environmental Policy
Professor of Public Policy


Jonathan B. Wiener is the William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law at Duke Law School, Professor of Environmental Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment, and Professor of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, at Duke University.  He is the director of the JD-LLM Program in International and Comparative Law at Duke Law School.

In 2008, Jonathan Wiener served as President of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). He is the first law professor or lawyer to hold this post. In 2003 he received the Chauncey Starr Young Risk Analyst Award from the SRA for the most exceptional contributions to the field of risk analysis by a scholar aged 40 or under. In July 2012 he co-chaired the SRA's World Congress on Risk in Sydney Australia. Since 2002 he has also been a University Fellow of Resources for the Future (RFF), the environmental economics think tank.

He has been a visiting professor at: Harvard Law School (2010 and 1999), Université Paris-Dauphine (2010 and 2011), Sciences Po (2008), the University of Chicago Law School (2007), and l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and le Centre International de Recherche sur L'Environnement et le Développement (CIRED) in Paris (2005-06). He has taught courses on Environmental Law, Risk Regulation, Climate Change, Mass Torts, Property Law, Global Property Regimes, International Environmental Law, and Happiness & Decisions.

From 2000-05 he served as the founding Faculty Director of the Duke Center for Environmental Solutions, now expanded into the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, of which he served as chair of the faculty advisory committee from 2007-10.

Professor Wiener has written widely on U.S., European, and international environmental law and risk regulation, including the books The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the United States and Europe (RFF Press/Earthscan, 2011, with others), Reconstructing Climate Policy (AEI Press 2003, with Richard B. Stewart) and Risk vs. Risk (Harvard University Press 1995, with John D. Graham), and articles in diverse journals including the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, U. Penn. Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Ecology Law Quarterly, Current Legal Problems, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Risk Analysis, Journal of Risk Research, Risk: Health Safety & Environment, Technology in Society, Conservation Biology, Human and Experimental Toxicology, and Science.

Before coming to Duke, he worked on U.S. and international environmental policy at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and at the US Department of Justice, serving in both the first Bush and Clinton administrations. He helped negotiate the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and attended the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. In 1993 he helped draft Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Review.

Professor Wiener clerked for Judge (now U.S. Supreme Court Justice) Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston in 1988-89, and for Chief Judge Jack B. Weinstein on the U.S. District Court in New York in 1987-88. He received his A.B. in economics (1984) and J.D. (1987) from Harvard University, where he was a research assistant at the NBER , an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and assistant coach of the 1985 intercollegiate debate champions.

Jonathan Wiener also helped organize the Americorps National Service program in 1993, helped start the annual City Year servathon in Boston in 1989 and the D.C. Cares servathon in Washington D.C. in 1991, served on the North Carolina State Commission on National and Community Service from 1994-98, and founded the "Dedicated to Durham" community service day held twice each year at Duke Law School since 1995.