Expertise: International climate policy, resilience policy
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 with the White House Council on Environmental Quality in 2010 and 2011, where she led a 20-plus agency task force in developing a national climate resilience strategy. This strategy formed the basis of the climate preparedness pillar of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Kelly also helped to formulate the Obama administration positions on international sustainable development and climate change policy issues.
From 2008 to 2012, 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.
Kelly was the director of climate change policy at the Nature Conservancy from 2003 to 2008, where she worked with policymakers and business leaders to design an internationally recognized gold standard for forest carbon projects and global strategies to reduce deforestation and increase community and ecosystem resilience. As a senior policy advisor at the Center for Clean Air Policy from 1998 to 2003, Kelly advised policy and business leaders in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, and the Caribbean on energy and climate policies, and regularly presented policy recommendations to senior climate negotiators from industrialized and developing nations.
From 1995 to 1997, Kelly was a senior associate at ICF Incorporated, where she provided analysis and recommendations to U.S. climate negotiators on designing an international emissions trading system in the lead-up to the creation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Kelly is an internationally recognized climate policy expert and a regular advisor to U.S. and European officials on environmental policy issues. She is a senior adviser at Climate Advisers and is on the advisory board of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. Kelly is a prize-winning graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where she earned a master of arts in international relations and energy and environmental policy.