Dr. Paul Bunje works to bridge the gap between innovation, science and society to help our world respond and adapt to the environmental grand challenges of our time, particularly oceans and climate change.
Paul Bunje is the Senior Director of Oceans at the XPRIZE Foundation. Dr. Bunje comes to the XPRIZE Foundation with more than 12 years of experience in science, policy, education, and environmental leadership. Dr. Bunje brings his unique ability to bridge the gap between science and society to the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE to help lead the identification of solutions to the challenges facing our world’s oceans.
Prior to joining XPRIZE, Paul was the Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions, where he facilitates innovative research and communicates between scientists and decision makers about the details of climate change science and solutions. Dr. Bunje was also the Managing Director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC). He led LARC in its mission to encourage greater coordination and cooperation at the local and regional levels by bringing together leadership from government, the business community, academia, labor, environmental and community groups. Dr. Bunje led the production of regional climate strategies for the 10 million people of Greater Los Angeles.
In addition to incentivizing innovative solutions to our world’s Grand Challenges, Dr. Bunje is heavily engaged in communicating and facilitating solutions with decision makers in government and private industry. He is on the Steering Committees of Climate Resolve and the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative. He was formerly a member of the City of Los Angeles’ Green Retrofit Development Advisory Council and a member of Clean Tech Los Angeles.
Dr. Bunje is also a Researcher at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, where he conducts research that focuses on how complex scientific information such as climate change is communicated and how to apply technology to environmental challenges.
Previously, Dr. Bunje was a Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While in Washington, DC, he designed and refined policy on climate change, oceans, water resources, and ecosystem services. He is trained as a biologist, having received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Bunje has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, and the South Pacific, providing first-hand insight into the diverse political and cultural environments in which scientists and policy makers implement environmental protections. Dr. Bunje is also a co-founder of Conservation & Climate Security International and the Science and Technology Electoral Politics Interest Network.