Katharine Jacobs is the Assistant Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for Climate Assessment and Adaptation in the Executive Office of the President. She serves as the Director of the National Climate Assessment, the OSTP liaison to the Subcommittee on Water Availability and Quality, the lead staff person for OSTP in the interagency Adaptation Task Force, and the lead for OSTP on the interagency Hurricane Sandy Recovery Team. Within the U.S. Global Change Research Program she serves on the Executive Committee and as a co-lead on the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Task Force.
Jacobs is assigned through NOAA to OSTP from her position as a professor in the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. She is also affiliated with the Institute of the Environment, where she works on climate adaptation and water management issues.
From 2006-2009 Jacobs 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 twenty years of experience as a water manager for the state of Arizona Department of Water Resources, including 14 years as the director of the Tucson Active Management Area (serving under five governors). 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.
Ms. Jacobs earned her M.L.A. in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served on eight National Research Council panels and was Chair of the NRC Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change and a member of the panel on America’s Climate Choices.
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