Katharine Jacobs

Senior Fellow, Climate Adaptation

Katharine Jacobs is a faculty member at the University of Arizona in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science and the director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) within the Institute of the Environment. CCASS builds and supports climate change adaptation and assessment capacity at regional, national, and international scales, based on climate science and service investments within the University. From 2010–2013, she served as an assistant director in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She was the director of the National Climate Assessment (NCA), leading a team of 300 authors and more than 1,000 contributors who wrote the Third NCA report. She also was the lead advisor on water science and policy and climate adaptation within OSTP. Prior to her work in the White House, she was the executive director of the Arizona Water Institute, a consortium of the three state universities focused on water-related research, education, and technology transfer in support of water supply sustainability. She has more than 20 years of experience as a water manager for the State of Arizona Department of Water Resources. Her research interests include water policy, connecting science and decision-making, stakeholder engagement, use of climate information for water management applications, climate change adaptation, and drought planning. She earned her master’s degree in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley.