Ben Knell ’25


Operations Research and Financial Engineering

Project Title

Climate and Conflict: Understanding and Responding to Strategic Risk

I analyzed the intersection of climate change and conflict in various regions of interest around the world. Climate change often exacerbates existing tensions, thus contributing to conflict via food insecurity and displacement. One of my central tasks was to assess potential climate risks. I studied the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and various scientific publications to create a broader picture of the impacts of climate change in each region. I then assessed how each aspect of climate change could impact conflict and displacement based on each region’s present challenges and resources. Over the course of this internship, I learned about the process by which research and data become policy, and also had the chance to be activelt involved in this process. For instance, when Future of Conflict Director Robert Blecher was called upon as an expert in a congressional hearing on conflict and climate change, I was able to contribute to the speech and preparatory materials. This internship has taught me both the intrinsic importance of data and the importance of being able to put it into context through interdisciplinary analysis. In my future studies, I plan to explore statistics and interdisciplinary courses related to climate change.

Internship Year


Project Category

Urban Sustainability


Empirical Studies of Conflict, School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University - New York City, New York


Jacob Shapiro, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, School of Public and International Affairs; Ulrich Eberle, Visiting Research Collaborator, School of Public and International Affairs