Saleem Ali's research interests are in the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts in the mineral sector. He teaches environmental planning. conflict resolution and industrial ecology, and is a member of the Governance Working Group.

Saleem H. Ali is Chair of the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences and the Blue & Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware (USA). He was appointed by UN Secretary General as a member of Advisory board of Eminent Persons on Zero Waste.

Prof. Ali previously served as chair in Sustainable Resource Development and professor of sustainability science and policy at University of Queensland (Australia) and was founding director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at the University of Vermont (USA). He has previously held appointments at The Brookings Institution, The Watson Institute for International Studies, and the United Nations mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica).

Prof. Ali's primary research interests have been in the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts in the mineral sector, and the process of using ecological factors to promote peace.

Before embarking on an academic career, Prof. Ali worked as an environmental health and safety professional at General Electric Corporation.

His laurels include being a National Geographic Explorer, with field experience in more than 160 countries; being selected as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum and serving on the boards of notable non-profit charitable organizations including RESOLVE, Adventure Scientists and Mediators Beyond Borders International.

Prof. Ali received his doctorate in Environmental Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an M.E.S. in environmental law and policy from Yale University, and his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (summa cum laude) from Tufts University.

Dr. Ali is a citizen of the United States of America by birth; Pakistan by parental lineage; and Australian by naturalization.

Selected publications  

Sarupriya, M., Sultana N., Ali, Saleem H. 2023. SDG 12 needs an oceanic interface: sand mining, saltwater intrusion (SWI) and coastal sustainability. Sustainable Earth Reviews 

Ali, Saleem H. 2023. Adaptation as Salvation in The Climate Crisis. Forbes.

Ali, Saleem H. 2023. Soil to Foil: Aluminum and the Quest for Industrial Sustainability. New York and London: Columbia University Press.

Ali, Saleem H., Martin Clifford, Dominic Kniveton, Caroline Zickgraf, and Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson. 2023. “Adaptive Governance to Manage Human Mobility and Natural Resource Stress.” Elements in Earth System Governance, Cambridge University Press

Ali, Saleem H. 2022. Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life. Oxford University Press.

Ali, S. H.; Kalantzakos, S.; Eggert, R.; Gauss, R.; Karayannopoulos, C.; Klinger, J.; Pu, X.; Vekasi, K.; Perrons, R. K. Closing the Infrastructure Gap for Decarbonization: The Case for an Integrated Mineral Supply Agreement. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2022, 56 (22), 15280–15289.

Gloaguen, R., Ali, S., Herrington, R., Ajjabou, L., Downey, E., & Stewart, I. 2022. Mineral revolution for the Wellbeing Economy. Global Sustainability, 1-11.

Zickgraf, C., Ali, S. H., Clifford, M., Djalante, R., Kniveton, D., Brown, O., & Ayeb-Karlsson, S. 2022. Natural resources, human mobility and sustainability: A review and research gap analysis. Sustainability Science17(3), 1077–1089.

Rosa, L., Rulli, M. C., Ali, S., Chiarelli, D. D., Dell’Angelo, J., Mueller, N. D., Scheidel, A., Siciliano, G., & D’Odorico, P. 2021. Energy implications of the 21st century agrarian transition. Nature Communications12(1), 2319

Zhu, Y., Xu, D., Ali, S. H., & Cheng, J. 2021. A hybrid assessment model for mineral resource availability potentials. Resources Policy74, 102283.

Ali, Saleem H. 2020. “Environmental Urgency versus the Allure of RCT Empiricism.” World Development 127 (Invited article for special issue on the methodologies leading up to the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences).

View all publications on Google Scholar.



Lecture at Harvard on Soil to Foil: Aluminum and the Quest for Industrial Sustainability, December, 2023

Interview of Saleem H. Ali with Oxford University Press regard his latest book Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life, July, 2022

Presentation by Saleem Ali at TEDxUniversityofDelaware, “Reinventing Borders for Environmental and Social Harmony,” April, 2019