Dr Mark Stafford Smith is based in Canberra, Australia, and looks after coordinating Adaptation Research across CSIRO; he oversees a highly interdisciplinary program of research on many aspects of adapting to climate change, as well as regularly interacting with national and international policy issues. He has over 30 years experience in drylands systems ecology, management, and policy, including senior roles such as CEO of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre in Alice Springs. His significant international roles include being past vice-chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme’s Scientific Committee. In 2012 he was co-chair of the Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions conference on global environmental change in the lead up to Rio+20. In 2013 he was appointed chair of the inaugural Science Committee for Future Earth, which aims to help coordinate research towards global sustainability worldwide.