Indian American climate expert Jainey Bavishi gets key role at NOAA


Jainey Bavishi
Jainey Bavishi

Bavishi currently leads a cross-disciplinary team that prepares New York for the impacts of climate change.

President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Jainey Bavishi a leading Indian American expert on climate change, to a top leadership position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

If confirmed by the Senate, she will serve as Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere in the Department of Commerce under NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, an ocean scientist.

Bavishi’s appointment at an agency responsible for environmental prediction and monitoring and protecting the nation’s coasts, oceans and fisheries is in tune with the Biden-Harris administration emphasis on confronting climate change as one of its top priorities

“Bavishi currently serves as the Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency,” the White House said announcing her nomination with two others on July 28.

“In this role, she leads a cross-disciplinary team that prepares the city for the impacts of climate change through science-based analysis, policy, program, and project development, and capacity building,” it noted.

“The Biden administration has picked a tremendous climate champion to serve the American people,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in statement.

“Jainey’s leadership and vision has transformed New York City’s coastline and has helped to protect New Yorkers from destructive flooding and deadly heat waves.”

During the Obama Administration, Bavishi served as the Associate Director for Climate Preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Director of External Affairs and Senior Policy Advisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Bavishi also served as the Executive Director of R3ADY Asia-Pacific, focused on enhancing disaster risk reduction and resilience in the Asia-Pacific region, based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Previously, she was the Founding Director of the Equity and Inclusion Campaign, a coalition of community-based leaders in the Gulf Coast region that focused on recovery from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation.

Bavishi has a Master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in public policy and cultural anthropology from Duke University.

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