Dr. Saleemul Huq completed his B.Sc. (with Honours) in 1975 from Imperial College, London, United Kingdom and his Ph.D. in plant sciences also from Imperial College in 1978. He then taught at the University of Dhaka until 1984 when he set up (and became the first executive director) of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. When he left BCAS in 2000, it was the leading scientific research and policy institute in the country in the field of environment and development.

In 2000 he became an Academic Visitor at the Huxley School of Environment at Imperial College in London where he taught a course on Global Environmental policies.

In February 2001 he joined the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London where he heads the climate change programme. His interests are in the inter-linkages between climate change (both mitigation as well as adaptation) and sustainable development from the perspective of the least developed countries.

He has published numerous articles in scientific and popular journals and was the lead author of the chapter on adaptation in the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).