On Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, Dr. David Titley, Rear Admiral USN (ret.), Affiliate Professor of Meteorology and International Affairs at the Pennsylvania State University, will give a talk as part of the Strauss Center's Brumley Speaker Series.

Dr. Titley's public talk will focus on why climate change is a national security issue. Climate change is about people, about water, and about change itself. He will cover some of the basic science and why mainstream climate scientists are very confident of their findings, how this challenge is being addressed, and the greatest challenges to national security that arise from climate change. Dr. Titley will conclude with an assessment of future challenges and opportunities regarding climate change, from science, policy, and political perspectives. In addition, this talk will address how to effectively talk about climate change through the use of analogies, plain, non-jargon English, and even a little humor.


David W Titley, Rear Admiral USN (ret.) was the founding director of Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk and served as Director from 2013–19.   

After graduating from Penn State, Titley served as a naval officer for 32 years and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. His career included duties as commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, and Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy. While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. 

After retiring from the Navy, Titley served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, the chief operating officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. From 2013 to 2019, Titley served as a Professor of Practice in Meteorology and Atmospheric Science and a Professor of International Affairs at the Pennsylvania State University.

In 2017 Titley gave a TED talk on climate change and national wecurity that has been viewed over 1 million times. He serves on multiple climate and security-related advisory boards and National Academy of Science (NAS) committees; he currently chairs the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Climate Communication Initiative advisory committee, and is a member of the NAS Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He has testified numerous times before various U.S. House and Senate Committees and before the Australian Senate. 

He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.