Robert Varady

Director of Environmental Policy Programs, Research Professor of Environmental Policy - Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy

Adaptation programs/projects:

  • Evaluation of World Water Assessment Programmer and World Water Development Report. UNESCO (PI)
  • Innovative Science and Influential Policy Dialogues for Water Security in the Arid Americas. Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (co-PI)
  • International Water Security Network, funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation (PI)
  • Managing Demand and Rethinking Supply: Adaptation, Conservation, and Planning in the Drought-prone Southwestern United States and Northwest Mexico, funded by NOAA-SARP (co-PI)

Selected citations:

  • Varady, R.G., A. Zuñiga-Teran, G. Garfin, F. Martín, and S. Vicuña. 2016. Adaptive management and water security in a global context: Definitions, concepts, and examples. Special issue, "Environmental Change and Assessment," ed. by G. Garfin, M. Wilder, and R. Merideth. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST) 21: 70-77.

  • Ocampo-Melgar, A., S. Vicuña, J. Gironás-León, R.G. Varady, and C. A. Scott. 2016. Scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders plan for climate change:  A promising approach in Chile’s Maipo basin. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 58, 5 (Sept.-Oct.): 24-37.

  • Varady, R.G., A.A. Zuniga-Teran, A.K. Gerlak, and S.B. Megdal. 2016. Modes, approaches, and lessons learned: A survey of selected cases of groundwater governance across the globe. In special issue, “Water Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainable Water Resources Management,” ed. by S. Megdal, S. Eden, and E. Shamir. Water 8, 417: 1-24. doi:10.3390/w8100417.

  • Wilder, M.O., I. Aguilar-Barajas; N. Pineda-Pablos, R.G. Varady, S. M. Megdal, J. McEvoy, R. Merideth, A.A. Zúñiga-Terán, and C. A. Scott. 2016. Desalination and water security in the US–Mexico border region: assessing the social, environmental and political impacts. Water International.   doi:10.10.1080/02508060.2016.1166416

  • Scott, C.A., F.J. Meza, R.G. Varady, H. Tiessen, J. McEvoy, G.M. Garfin, L.M. Farfán, M. Wilder, N. Pineda Pablos. 2013. Water security and adaptive management in the arid Americas. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103, 2: 280-289.

Employment highlights:

  • Office of Arid Lands Studies, UA (1980-1989)
  • Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy (1989-present)


  • Ph.D., Modern History, University of Arizona, 1981
  • M.S., Mathematics, Polytechnic Institute of NYU
  • B.S., Mathematics, City College of New York
Language Area
Expertise Area
Human Dimensions of Climate Change
Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving
International and Development
Public Policy and Governance
Transboundary Water