Klein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and the Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan. He received his PhD in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation examined the case of Madagascar’s artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector in order to better understand the political ecology of governance in resource frontier settings. He was selected as a Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies (BELS) Graduate Fellow by UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society for the 2019-2020 academic year. He has also been selected as a Berkeley Connect Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year; he will be mentoring undergraduates in the College of Natural Resources and receiving professional development training. He will be serving as Faculty Liaison and Political Affairs Liaison for his department’s Graduate Student Association for the 2019-2020 academic year. He was previously special assistant to Chief of Staff Stacy Rhodes at Peace Corps, where he provided counsel and administrative support in the Office of the Director. He also worked on Peace Corps’ domestic education and intercultural exchange programs. Brian served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar from 2010-2012, collaborating with local villagers and counterparts from the World Wide Fund for Nature to design and implement several agroforestry extension and agricultural improvement projects. He worked with local forest management organizations in southeast Madagascar’s Vondrozo Corridor, providing training and resources to improve natural resource management, augment and diversify agricultural production, and ameliorate living conditions. His particular focus was to initiate reforestation projects using tree species that not only produce better environmental conditions but also provide the local population with nutritious food and alternative sources of income.
He continues to be an intermittent consultant to the World Bank’s Africa Energy Unit, focusing on carbon capture and rural electrification projects in South Africa and Madagascar. Previously he worked as a Staff Intern with the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He wrote for ECSP’s blog, The New Security Beat, assisted with the logistics of ECSP’s events, researched materials for the annual report, and maintained the contact database.