International development, poverty alleviation, and resource governance

Gary Flomenhoft’s work is focussed on international development, poverty alleviation, and common property institutions.  He is currently a Research Fellow with the Development Minerals Programme at SMI, specializing in work-integrated learning programs for students, low carbon construction materials, and the circular economy.

Gary was an International Post-Graduate (IPRS) and UQ Centennial Scholar at SMI and received his PhD in mineral resource governance.  Gary was previously a faculty member for 11 years in Community and International Development and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont (UVM), USA, serving as a Lecturer in Applied Economics, Renewable Energy, International Development, and Public Policy. He conducted many development projects in the Caribbean including the Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Lucia, and Belize with students and local partners in the areas of agriculture, environment, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and health.  His work on biological waste treatment on impervious soils received a best-practice from the St. Lucia Parliament.

He had a secondary appointment as Research Associate and Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics under Director Robert Constanza, where he is still affiliated. His primary research was in environmental and resource governance and finance including environmental taxes, common assets, and public banking. His 2013 report on Vermont public banking formed the basis of the “10% for Vermont” legislation passed in 2014, which allocated $35 million of state funds to local investment.  This is the only public banking related appropriation passed in the continental US since 1919. He directed the grant funded Green Tax and Common Assets project at the Gund Institute for seven years, where he originated the Vermont Common Assets Trust Fund (VCAT) bill, which was submitted to the legislature twice and has served as a model globally.  His chapter on Vermont Common Assets appeared in the book “Exporting the Alaska Model”, which promotes the Alaska Permanent Fund and Dividend as a model for universal basic income (UBI) around the world using Sovereign Wealth Funds from resources.

Gary’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Ecological Economics from the University of Maryland under the supervision of Herman Daly, one of the world leaders in sustainable economics, and originator of the modern day concept of “steady-state” economics. His undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Other Background and Personal

Prior to entering academia, Gary had a diverse background of practical experience ranging from environmental technology and Green politics, to aerospace and systems engineering. He was a founding member of the Green Party of California, and co-founder of the non-profit Geonomics Society. Gary managed two small electric vehicle companies, and ran his own electric vehicle conversion business in the 1990’s. He holds US Patent number 9634732 on inductively powered electric roadways.  He worked as a Program Assistant for economic development at the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and ran a renewable energy office in Colorado. Other ventures include having been an aerospace engineer for commercial and NASA satellites at TRW and Hughes Aircraft Companies, including building the communication satellite for the space shuttle (TDRS). He has taught secondary school and AUTOCAD at an adult vocational institute. Gary is also an avid sailor and sailing instructor, and former competitive swimmer and lifesaver.