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Cathleen Kelly

Senior Fellow

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 at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where she led a 20-plus-agency task force to develop a national climate-resilience strategy. This strategy helped form the basis of the climate-preparedness pillar of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Kelly also helped formulate the Obama administration’s positions on international sustainable development and climate policy issues.

Previously, 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. She also held policy director and senior policy adviser positions at The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Clean Air Policy.

Kelly is an internationally recognized climate policy expert and a regular adviser to U.S. and European officials on environmental policy issues. She is a professor of international and environmental policy at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, or SAIS. She is also a senior adviser at Climate Advisers and on the advisory board of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. Kelly is a prize-winning graduate of SAIS, where she earned a master of arts in international relations and energy and environmental policy.