Duffy’s hire underscores urgency of Administration’s science-based efforts to tackle climate change

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the addition of Dr. Philip Duffy as Climate Science Advisor to its first-ever Climate and Environment Division, reinforcing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to using science-based approaches to rapidly reducing carbon emissions and preparing for the unavoidable consequences of climate change. This key hire comes at a critical time, following the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which makes clear the urgent need for greater global action on climate change and the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November.

Trained in physics and astrophysics, Dr. Duffy is a highly-regarded climate scientist whose career has focused on understanding the socioeconomic consequences of climate change, and using that understanding to inform societal decisions and policies. He comes to OSTP from the Woodwell Climate Research Center (formerly Woods Hole Research Center) where he served as President and Executive Director. In his role at Woodwell Climate, he led partnerships with groups including Indigenous groups, social justice organizations, under-resourced municipalities, conservation organizations, asset managers, and other leaders in the world of business and finance to understand how risks resulting from climate change affect their work and livelihoods, now and in the future, and how to manage those risks.

As a research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dr. Duffy worked in the 1990s and 2000s with state officials in California on issues including drought, water scarcity, and wildfire—all of which have recently emerged as critical societal challenges in the West.

Dr. Duffy has served in government before, as a Senior Policy Analyst in OSTP and a Senior Advisor in the U.S. Global Change Research Program, both in the Obama-Biden administration.

Dr. Duffy brings extensive experience with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), having served as an author and review editor. In his government roles, he coordinated the official U.S. government review of the Fifth Assessment Report, and represented the U.S. government at the “approval sessions” for five IPCC reports.

“Bringing Dr. Duffy on board demonstrates just how serious the Biden-Harris Administration is about the immediate need to reduce carbon emissions, while ensuring economic opportunity for all Americans,” said OSTP Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Dr. Jane Lubchenco. “His decades of experience, deep understanding of the climate system, and previous work in developing integrated solutions will help OSTP craft more informed climate policy.”

“The recent prominence of extreme weather events reminds us that the need for science-based policies to address climate change has never been greater or more urgent. I am excited to join the Biden-Harris administration at this critical moment,” said OSTP Climate Science Advisor Dr. Phil Duffy.

More on the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Climate & Environment (C&E) Team: 
Duffy joins a growing team of climate and environment experts at OSTP led by Deputy Director Dr. Jane Lubchenco, that already includes: U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Executive Director Dr. Mike Kuperberg, National Climate Assessment Director Allison Crimmins, Assistant Directors Dr. Eli Fenichel (Natural Resource Economics), Dr. Larry Hinzman (Arctic Climate Change), Dr. Maria Honeycutt (Resilience Science & Technology), Dr. Annarita Mariotti (Climate Science & Modeling), Dr. Laura Petes (Climate Resilience & Adaptation), Dr. Gretchen Goldman (Environmental Science, Engineering, Policy and Justice), Deerin Babb-Brott (Ocean Policy), and Dr. Amanda Netburn (Ocean Sciences).


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