Hélène M. Benveniste, PhD*21

STEP Ph.D. 2021

Hélène is a fifth year PhD candidate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, working under the advisory of Professor Michael Oppenheimer. She uses interdisciplinary approaches to answer research questions directly relevant to climate change policy. Topics of her research include:

  • Interactions between climate change impacts, international migration and inequality, using Integrated Assessment Models and a scenarios-based approach.
  • International Environmental Agreements design, in particular the role of aspirational targets in shaping countries’ actions.
  • Communication between science and policy on climate change, specifically how indicators, targets, scenarios and accounting rules contribute to efficient communication.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, Hélène will be visiting University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, in particular the Climate Impact Lab. She previously was a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group (ERG) in Professor David Anthoff’s lab, at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Hélène graduated in 2012 with a MSc in Science and Executive Engineering from Mines ParisTech (France). For her Master’s thesis, she developed a statistical tool for scoring extreme climate events forecasts based on extreme value theory.

As part of her career in energy and climate policy prior to graduate school, Hélène served as deputy attaché for energy at the French Embassy in Germany. During the Paris Agreement year, she also served as research scientist and project manager of the scientific advisory group to the French climate negotiation team, focusing on assessing countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions.

When not obsessing over climate change, Hélène can be found hiking in the nearest national parks or in the local movie theater. 

Twitter: @HeleneBenvenist

Selected Publications

H. Benveniste, M. Oppenheimer, M. Fleurbaey (2020). “Effect of Border Policy on Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Change." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117 (43), 26692-26702. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2007597117.

H. Benveniste, O. Boucher, C. Guivarch, H. Le Treut, and P. Criqui (2018). “Impacts of Nationally Determined Contributions on 2030 Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Uncertainty Analysis and Distribution of Emissions." Environmental Research Letters 13, 1. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaa0b9.

O. Boucher, H. Benveniste, and C. Guivarch (2016). “Nations’ Pledges to Reduce Emissions and the 2C Objective". Eos, 97. doi: 10.1029/2016EO052397.

O. Boucher, H. Benveniste, V. Bellassen, P. Ciais, P. Criqui, C. Guivarch, H. Le Treut, S. Mathy, and R. Séférian (2016). “In the Wake of Paris, New Directions for Climate Change Research." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 7287-7290. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1607739113.