Faculty and Speakers
THOMAS ARMSTRONG joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Director of National Coordination for the U.S. Global Change Research Program in March 2011. Tom previously served as the Department of the Interior's (DOI) Senior Advisor for Climate Change and was a key figure in the implementation of Secretary Salazar's Executive Order on climate change (S.O. 3289), as well as in the development of the Department's climate change-related policies, organizational elements and budget strategies. Dr. Armstrong served as the Vice-Chair for Adaptation Science on the CENRS Subcommittee on Global Change and was the Principal for DOI to the United States Global Change Research Program. Some of his other responsibilities have included serving as the Senior Advisor for Global Change Program at the U.S. Geological Survey, the DOI lead for the World Climate Conference, the United States Head of Delegation for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Associate to the Chair for development of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) response to Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan, a United States delegate for the United Nations Framework Council on Climate Change, advisor on DOI International Polar Year activities, a DOI principal to the CEQ-OSTP-NOAA Climate Change Adaptation Taskforce, and as Chair of the Science Committee for the Department of the Interior's Climate Change Task Force.Tom has also participated in numerous testimonies and briefings to various Congressional Committees and high-level briefings for DOI at various international forums regarding climate change, adaptation and circum-Arctic activities.
OTIS BROWN is the Director of NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites – North Carolina and his specialties are satellite oceanography, development of quantitative methods for the processing and use of satellite remotely-sensed observations to study Earth System processes with a focus on ocean color and infrared observations, and the development and application of new approaches to study climate variability and stakeholder engagement. Over time, his research interests have shifted to areas of observable climate change impact including the development of basin scale climatologies for SST and color fields, use of longer-term space-based observations to quantify the impacts of climatic variability, and the engagement of stakeholders. He collaborated with Professor Mary Doyle at the University of Miami to found the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy as a sustainable approach to the training of the next generation of Earth System managers and researchers. Dr. Brown served as Dean of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science for 14 years, while being at the University for 38 years. He received the University of Miami Presidents Medal in honor of his outstanding leadership and distinguished accomplishments in his field of expertise as well as for his contributions to society. Dr. Brown is a an emeritus Professor of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the University of Miami and a Research Professor at NC State University. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. degree in Physics, with a specialty in underwater optics, from the University of Miami; an M.S. degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Miami; and a B.S. in Physics from North Carolina State University.
JOE CASOLA serves as Staff Scientist and Program Director for Science and Impacts at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. He oversees C2ES’s efforts to assess and communicate the current state of knowledge regarding climate change and its associated impacts, and to promote actions that strengthen climate resilience. Dr. Casola has worked on issues related to climate science and policy for over 12 years. Prior to joining C2ES, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Research Council, where he contributed to the completion of the America’s Climate Choices reports. Dr. Casola also spent several years with ICF International, assisting a range of local, federal, and international clients to assess and manage risks arising from climate variability and change. He has been a part of various science education, outreach, and training projects, including the Environmental Protection Agency's climate change website, professional development lectures for the American Bar Association, and training sessions for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dr. Casola earned a PhD and MS in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington, and holds a BS in Chemistry from Duke University.
JAMES CHELIUS is Director of Engineering Planning for American Water, the largest investor-owned water/wastewater utility in the U.S. He develops American Water’s Capital Investment Strategy and directs their Comprehensive Planning Program that delivers water & wastewater master plans for the Company’s 1600 communities served. The Plans identify water/wastewater infrastructure improvement projects that provide the foundation of the Company’s capital investment program. He is also responsible for development of the Company’s Climate Resilience Strategy. Mr. Chelius has 30 years experience in the water utility field. He holds a B.S. in General Sciences and an M.S. in Water Resources Engineering from Villanova University. He is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania.
MICHELLE COLLEY is a specialist in climate risk management with 10 years of experience in helping organizations to make decisions in the face of climate change. She has provided a broad range of public and private sector clients with expertise and advice on climate change science, risk and vulnerability assessments, climate adaptation, and strategic planning. Ms. Colley leads climate change impacts and adaptation practice, advising businesses and governments on how to make their activities, assets, and policies more resilient to climate risks. She is currently working with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) to identify risks associated with a changing climate to mining activities and operations. She is also working with the City of Toronto to develop a “trigger” to identify when an extended heat emergency should be declared, so as to minimize heat-related illness and premature mortality anticipated with deep and prolonged heat waves. Ms. Colley has an advanced understanding of climate science and model development, an awareness of the limitations of different modeling techniques, and an in-depth appreciation of end-user needs. She is also adept at facilitating stakeholder engagement on climate risk management and managing participatory approaches to climate change adaptation decision making. Michelle has an M.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh.
ELLIOT DIRINGER is Executive Vice President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. He manages day-to-day operations of C2ES and helps direct its research, policy, outreach and communications efforts. He previously served as Vice President for International Strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, C2ES’s predecessor organization, and continues to direct international programs at C2ES.
Mr. Diringer has been deeply engaged in environmental issues and policy for nearly 30 years. From 1983 to 1997, he was a reporter and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he authored several award-winning environmental series and covered the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Director of Communications and Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped develop major policy initiatives, led White House press and communications strategy on the environment, and was a member of U.S. delegations to international climate change negotiations. He was later Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Press Secretary, serving as a principal spokesman for President Clinton. Mr. Diringer holds a degree in environmental studies from Haverford College and was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University, where he studied environmental law and policy.
JOHN FIRTH is CEO and Co-Founder of Acclimatise. He has over 20 years experience in assessing the impacts of climate change. Prior to Acclimatise he worked in the UK water sector for Severn Trent Water, where he led their strategic business planning team, overseeing more than £4bn of asset investment. John has extensive experience of integrating climate change into business decision-making and risk management processes. He has particular expertise in the impacts of climate change on large fixed-asset companies and the financial services sectors. John is also interested in the legal implications for business, disclosure of information to investors, and the provision of climate finance to developing countries. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and appeared as a speaker at conferences throughout the world on water, environmental issues and climate change.
WAYNE HIGGINS is the Director of NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO). In his position he serves as the focal point for climate programs within NOAA, supporting one of NOAA’s primary mission goals: to understand climate variability and change to enhance society’s ability to plan and respond. Prior to his selection as CPO Director, Dr. Higgins was the acting Director of the National Weather Service, National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) in 2013 and the Director of NCEP’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) from 2007-2013. Prior to that, he also served as the first Director of CPC’s Climate Test Bed for three years. He first joined CPC in 1994, starting as a research meteorologist and advancing to principal scientist.
Dr. Higgins research interests span climate variability and change, and weather — climate linkages (including extreme events), with emphasis on diagnostic evaluation of observations and models to improve climate prediction. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, five book chapters, 32 atlases and technical reports, and 165 conference proceedings.
Dr. Higgins received his PhD (1987) and Masters of Science (1983) degrees in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Illinois — Champaign/Urbana (1980). He is currently serving as a NOAA Principal for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and as NOAA Lead for the Global Framework on Climate Services. He also currently serves on four NOAA Societal Challenge Project Executive Working Groups (Water, Extremes, Coasts, Marine Ecosystems), and on the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites Executive Board.
ANDREW HOFFMAN is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, a position that holds joint appointments at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources & Environment. Within this role, Dr. Hoffman serves as director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Dr. Hoffman's research uses a sociological perspective to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations. In particular, he focuses on the processes by which environmental issues both emerge and evolve as social, political, and managerial issues. He has written extensively about the evolving nature of field level pressures related to environmental issues; the corporate responses that have emerged as a result of those pressures, particularly around the issue of climate change; the interconnected networks among non-governmental organizations and corporations and how those networks influence change processes within cultural and institutional systems; the social and psychological barriers to these change processes; and the underlying cultural values that are engaged when these barriers are overcome. Also, Dr. Hoffman was a member of the Panel on Addressing Climate Change through the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Dr. Hoffman has a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a S.M. in civil & environmental engineering, and a Ph.D. in management and civil & environmental engineering (joint degree) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
JEFF HOPKINS is the Principal Advisor, International Energy and Climate Policy for Rio Tinto. Prior to working for Rio Tinto, Hopkins was a policy analyst and chief economist for the House Budget Committee, and for USDA’s Economic Research Service. He received a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from The Ohio State University in 1998, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala from 1987-1989. Rio Tinto is the largest diversified mining company in the US and the second-largest mining company in the world. As part of their mining, refining, and smelting processes, Rio Tinto emits 41 million tons of GHG emissions per year. Over 70% of these GHG emissions occur in places where carbon is regulated through cap and trade or a carbon tax. Jeff’s education and advocacy work on behalf of Rio Tinto at the national and regional level, often in collaboration with the larger business community and environmental NGOs, is therefore based on extensive experience in scheme development and implementation.
THOMAS KARL, L.H.D. is the Director of NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information and the Chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Thomas Karl currently serves as director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, N.C., and Chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Karl is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and has recently completely his term as President. He is also a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and has published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific reports and articles and has authored several books as Editor and Contributor. He has received many awards and recognition for his work in services and scientific contributions in climate-related work including: two Distinguished Presidential Rank Awards, five Gold Medals from the Department of Commerce and two Bronze Medals; the American Meteorological Society's Suomi Award; National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences; the NOAA Administrator's Award, and several others. He has served as Editor of the Journal of Climate (1997-2000) and has been the Convening and Lead Author and Review Editor of all the major IPCC assessments since 1990. He was Co-Chair of two US National Climate Assessments. He has received a B.S. in Meteorology from Northern Illinois University, a M.S in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin, and a doctorate of humane letters (honoris causa) from North Carolina State University.
JOHN MACOMBER is a Senior Lecturer in the Finance unit at Harvard Business School. His professional background includes leadership of real estate, construction, construction services, and information technology businesses. At HBS, Mr. Macomber is engaged in the Business and Environment Initiative and Social Enterprise Initiative. He teaches Finance, Real Estate, Urbanization, and Entrepreneurship courses in the elective curriculum and in Executive Education. He is the former Chairman and CEO of the George B H Macomber Company, a large regional general contractor; and remains a principal in several real estate partnerships. John serves or has served on the boards of Young Presidents Organization International (YPO), Boston Private Bank, Mount Auburn Hospital, and Vela Systems.
JANET PEACE is the Vice President of Markets and Business Strategy at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. In this role, she manages the Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), the largest US-based association of companies devoted to climate-related policy and corporate strategies. The BELC contains mainly Fortune 500 companies with combined revenues of over $2 trillion and over 3.5 million employees. In addition, she manages the Center’s economics program and its analysis of market-based policy options. Previously, Dr. Peace held the same role at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, C2ES's predecessor organization. Dr. Peace brings more than 20 years and a wide spectrum of experience on environmental issues to her work at C2ES. As Director of Offsets Development and Industry Relations at the Canadian non-profit “C3” (formerly Climate Change Center), she worked to develop cost-effective climate policy options for industry and all levels of government. Dr. Peace also has taught environmental and natural resource economics at the University of Calgary, and worked as a resource specialist with the U.S. General Accounting Office and as a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Dr. Peace holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics and an undergraduate degree in Geology.
PAUL SCHOLZ began his career at the NOAA Coastal Services Center in 1994, serving as division chief of Coastal Management Services for 11 years. He also guided several NOAA-wide efforts, including the Coastal Storms Program, the Coasts, Estuaries, and Ocean Program, and the first-ever NOAA-wide hurricane assessment. In 2005, he became head of the Center&rquo;s Management and Budget division, becoming the organization's chief financial and administrative officer. A longtime coastal resource and management professional, Scholz got his start as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador working on finfish aquaculture. Since that time, he has spent 24 years working on various natural resource training and technical assistance projects within the U.S. and in Central and South America. Scholz earned a master’s degree in marine science from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
AMY SNOVER is the assistant Dean for Applied Research in the College of the Environment and directs the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington. She leads university activities to improve society’s resilience to natural and human-caused fluctuations in climate by bridging the gap between science and decision-making. This requires engaging the natural and social sciences to assess the vulnerability of natural and human systems to climate variability and change to inform the development of climate adaptation strategies. She works with decision makers to develop science-based climate change planning and adaptation guidance and to assess their climate information needs in order to develop priorities for research, tool development, and outreach, and, advises on strategies for adapting planning and decision-making processes in light of a changing climate and collaborate with legal, economics and communications scholars to apply climate impacts science to legal analyses, economic assessments, and research on overcoming communication challenges. She has a Ph.D. and an M.S. from the University of Washington in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry with a B.A. from Carleton College.
JEFF WILLIAMS is the Director, Climate Consulting for Entergy Corporation, where he plays an important role in helping Entergy manage carbon risk, and help business units develop strategy to build resilient communities, prosper in a carbon constrained economy and execute future sustainable growth opportunities. Mr. Williams has been a strong advocate for taking proactive, responsible action to manage climate risks.