Climate Change and the News: Climate Policy and Economics Speaker Bios

Program Summary | Agenda & Speaker Presentations | Speaker Bios | Participant ListResources List
Seminar on Marine & Coastal Impacts
 | Climate Change and the News

April 23, 2014
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C.

Speaker Bios

Donald F. Boesch is a professor of Marine Science and president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and University System of Maryland’s vice chancellor for environmental sustainability. He earned his B.S. in biology at Tulane University and Ph.D. in oceanography at the College of William and Mary. Boesch has conducted ecological and oceanographic research on coastal and continental shelf ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast, and in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Australia, and the East China Sea. He is a past-chairman of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, an elected Trustee of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and a member of the Leadership Council of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. Boesch serves as a member of the Maryland Governor’s Bay Cabinet and was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Oil Spill and the Offshore Drilling. He has been engaged in assessing the impacts of global climate change, co-authoring several reports for Maryland, the first and second National Climate Assessment, and the National Academy of Sciences. He is currently leading the Maryland-Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment and Research (MADE CLEAR) Program to advance climate change education throughout the two states.

Coral Davenport is the energy and climate change policy correspondent for the New York Times. Prior to working at the Times, she covered energy and climate issues for National Journal, Politico and Congressional Quarterly. She has also worked as a newspaper stringer and travel writer in Athens, Greece and got her start at the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Roger-Mark De Souza is the director of population, environmental security, and resilience for the Wilson Center. He leads programs on climate change resilience, reproductive and maternal health, environmental security, and livelihoods, including the Center’s Global Sustainability and Resilience Program, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Maternal Health Initiative. Before joining the Center in 2013, De Souza served as vice president of research and director of the climate program at Population Action International, where he provided strategic guidance, technical oversight, and management of PAI’s programs on population, gender, climate change, environment, and reproductive health. From 2007 to 2010, as the director of foundation and corporate relations at the Sierra Club, he led a multi-million dollar foundation and corporate fundraising program. Prior to working at the Sierra Club, he directed the Population, Health, and Environment Program at the Population Reference Bureau for ten years, where he designed and implemented research, communications, and capacity-building projects in the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. De Souza holds graduate degrees in international relations and development policy from George Washington University and the University of the West Indies.

Philip B. Duffy is a senior advisor at the U.S. Global Change Research Program. In 2011 and 2012 he was a senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In both of these roles he has been on loan from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he is a senior scientist. From 2008 to 2011, Duffy served as senior scientist, principal scientist, and chief scientist at Climate Central, an NGO dedicated to communicating climate science to the public. As a research scientist, Duffy has over 75 peer-reviewed papers on climate modeling, analysis of climate observations, and societal impacts of climate change. He has contributed to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in several roles, most recently as a U.S. government delegate. Duffy has a B.S. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford.

Shana Jones, J.D., joined the clinical faculty at the William & Mary School of Law in fall 2012 to develop and direct the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic (VCPC) after securing start-up funding from the Virginia Environmental Endowment. As director of the VCPC, Ms. Jones is responsible for overseeing, planning, directing, and coordinating the clinic’s activities, including training and supervising clinic students and conducting outreach and education to promote the VCPC’s work. Jones is the former executive director of the Center for Progressive Reform, a nonprofit research and educational organization with a network of leading legal scholars working to protect health, safety, and the environment through analysis and commentary. In addition to managing a staff of ten and raising funds to support the organization, Jones also co-authored a series of white papers on clean water and adaptation issues, specifically focusing on the Chesapeake Bay. Her co-authored book, The Case For Grassroots Collaboration:  Social Capital And Ecosystem Restoration At The Local Level (co-authored with John Morris, et al.) was published in fall 2013. Prior to joining CPR, Jones worked as an associate attorney in the Norfolk office of McGuire Woods, LLP, previously clerking for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia and the Maryland Court of Appeals. She received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, where she attended as the school’s first Constellation Scholar, graduated Order of the Coif, concentrated in environmental law, and served on the editorial board of the Maryland Law Review.

Cathleen Kelly is a senior fellow at American Progress. She specializes in international and U.S. climate mitigation, preparedness, resilience, and sustainable development policy. Kelly served in the Obama administration at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where she led a 20-plus-agency task force to develop a national climate-resilience strategy. This strategy helped form the basis of the climate-preparedness pillar of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Kelly also helped formulate the Obama administration’s positions on international sustainable development and climate policy issues. Previously, Kelly directed the Climate & Energy Program at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, where she led a highly acclaimed paper series and events on climate and clean energy policy that drew the world’s top energy and climate policy players. She also held policy director and senior policy adviser positions at The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Clean Air Policy. Kelly is an internationally recognized climate policy expert and a regular adviser to U.S. and European officials on environmental policy issues. She is a professor of international and environmental policy at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, or SAIS. She is also a senior adviser at Climate Advisers and on the advisory board of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. Kelly is a prize-winning graduate of SAIS, where she earned a master of arts in international relations and energy and environmental policy.

Marc Levy is deputy director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), a unit of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He is also an adjunct professor in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is a political scientist specializing in the human dimensions of global environmental change. His primary research areas are environmental security, sustainability metrics, and global environmental governance. He has published in a wide variety of sub-topics, including sustainability indicators, emerging infectious disease modeling, anthropogenic drivers of global change, vulnerability mapping, and public-private partnerships. His research has been supported by a number of agencies, including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, National Institutes for Health, National Aeronautic and Space Administration, UN Environment Program, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. He has served on several committees of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, as well as on a number of international assessments, and was a Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change Fifth Assessment chapter on Human Security. He is chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Measuring Sustainability. For a publication list see

Sunshine Menezes works to foster broader public understanding of science and the environment through effective science communication as executive director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting and associate director for communication in the Office of Marine Programs at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. Prior to focusing her communication efforts on improving news coverage of the environment, she worked on environmental policy as a legislative assistant responsible for U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone’s environment and energy portfolio and later as the leader of a multidisciplinary team at the URI Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant that developed an innovative urban coastal management policy for Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. Menezes worked for Rep. Pallone as one of ten Legislative Fellows in the Dean John Knauss National Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellowship class of 2003-2004. She currently serves on the Rhode Island Conservation Law Foundation Board and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Senior Advisory Council and is a Rhode Island Foundation Leadership Fellow. Menezes, who is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers, received a B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography in 2005.

Ian Noble joined the previous Global Adaptation Institute as chief scientist and continues his work with ND-GAIN. He recently retired from the World Bank as the lead climate change specialist with particular responsibility for the Bank’s activities in adaptation to climate change. For 27 years, Noble was a professor of Global Change Research at Australian National University. He has had senior roles in the IPCC process and in international cooperative research on climate change as part of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) including chairing the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE). In Australia, he participated in the public and policy debate over responses to climate change and served as a Commissioner in an inquiry into the future of the Australian forests and forest industries. As chief scientific advisor to the ND-GAIN team Noble recommends refinements to the ND-GAIN index, as well as advancements to the application of the ND-GAIN Index and ND-GAIN related research. In addition, Noble serves as a key liaison between ND-GAIN and important international stakeholders such as the World Bank and UNFCCC/IPCC. An ecologist by training, Noble holds a Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, and his research interests cover animal behavior, vegetation and biodiversity management, ecosystem modeling, expert systems and the science-policy interface. In 1999 he was elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and has received the Australian Centenary Medal for Services to Ecology (2001).

Meaghan Parker has served as the writer/editor for the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center since November 2003. She is the editor of the ECSP Report, a series of policy briefs, and the founding editor of the New Security Beat, a daily blog, both of which focus on the connections among environmental, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human security, and foreign policy. Her work at the Wilson Center has won five Global Media Awards for Population Reporting. She is the associate board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Parker was manager of research and internal communications at the Fortune 500 energy company PPL Global, where she researched international investments and renewable energy policy.

Joanne Potter is a principal at ICF International with over 15 years of experience in climate change adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability. She is currently managing the U.S. AID Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services (CRIS) program. CRIS works with rapidly growing cities in Latin America and Africa to build their capacity to assess climate risk, identify priorities, and evaluate and implement adaptation strategies. Potter led support to U.S. AID to develop the agency’s first Federal Adaptation Plan under CEQ guidelines. In addition, she supported the World Bank in developing sectoral guidance for staff to screen road projects in developing countries for climate risk. She worked with the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program of the U.S. Department of Defense to identify policy considerations regarding the risks of climate change on coastal military installations. Potter was a lead and editing author of The Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast Study (Phase I), which was conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation under the auspices of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. The study assessed climate risks to transportation networks in the Gulf Coast region. Potterhas also led major national studies addressing greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources. She was project manager for the U.S. DOT Report to Congress on Transportation’s Impact on Climate Change and Solutions, leading a multi-modal technical and policy team that addressed technology, fuel, and behavioral approaches to address climate change. She was also project manager for Moving Cooler: An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, a national multi-sponsor study assessing the effectiveness of transportation activity strategies to reduce GHG emissions. Potter supported the U.S. DOT in establishing the DOT Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting, and facilitated and authored the Center’s first five-year strategic plan. Potter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ben Strauss serves as vice president for climate impacts and director of the Program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central. He has published multiple scientific papers on sea level rise, testified before the U.S. Senate, authored the Surging Seas report, and led development of the coastal flood risk tool, leading to front-page coverage in The New York Times and The Washington Post, appearances on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and NPR national programming, and extensive coverage nationwide, from AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, to many hundreds of local news outlets, to numerous editorials and op eds. In earlier roles at Climate Central, Strauss served as interim executive director for one year, chief operating officer, associate director and staff scientist. A founding board member of, he previously helped launch the Environmental Leadership Program. Prior to that, Strauss worked for Abt Associates, co-organized the Campus Earth Summit, and authored a report on college environmental education and practices for the Nathan Cummings Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University, an M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in biology from Yale University,

Margaret Walsh is an ecologist with the Climate Change Program Office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA Climate Change Program Office is responsible for coordinating climate change research and program activities for the Department nationally, internally, and among Federal Agencies. Walsh has contributed to national climate change assessments and projections, including reports issued by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Research Council, as well as to guidance on greenhouse gas accounting methods for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Prior to joining the USDA Climate Change Program Office, her projects included the environmental monitoring in the U.S., China, and Mexico; evaluating the effects of Alaskan North Slope oil and gas development; identifying sources of landscape change; developing ecological indicators; stratospheric ozone depletion laboratory measurements; and the development of analytical instrumentation. Walsh holds a Ph.D. in ecology from Colorado State University, she conducted her postdoctoral work at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, and she is currently working on a multi-institutional collaborative consensus report on Global Climate Change, Food Security, and the U.S. Food System. 

Funding for this Climate Change and the News seminar is provided by

Follow me on Twitter