Kim Cobb, an award-winning climate researcher and director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, will be appointed to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board under the Biden administration, according to a Jan. 26 White House press release.
The PIAB provides insight to the president regarding the effectiveness of the U.S. intelligence community. Cobb’s appointment comes two years after President Joe Biden passed an executive order that directed the intelligence community to “assess the national security impacts of climate change,” according to a Jan. 26 University press release. Cobb wrote in an email to The Herald that she will remain IBES director and professor in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences as she takes on the new position.
“It is an honor to be appointed to this esteemed board, and I look forward to serving in this role,” Cobb said in the University press release.
Cobb arrived at Brown as IBES director in July 2022. At the Institute, she “launched a long-term planning process … with a focus on finding real-world solutions to the looming climate crisis,” according to the University press release.
In 2021, Cobb was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also served as a lead author of the United Nations’ annual Climate Change Assessment Report, The Herald previously reported.
Cobb has a track record of promoting science-driven policy and action to combat the impacts of climate change. In 2019, Cobb testified before the House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee in a hearing on climate change. In 2016, she spoke at a rally protesting anti-science sentiment that was attended by around 500 Earth scientists in San Francisco. Earlier that year, she joined over 800 Earth scientists and experts in an open letter urging Donald Trump, then President-elect, to address climate change.
Cobb received a bachelor’s degree in geology and biology from Yale in 1996 and a doctorate in oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in 2002. She came to the University from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she served as director of the Global Change Program, which “provides an avenue for Georgia Tech faculty, staff and students to design and implement solutions to climate and global change challenges,” according to the program website.
“Kim is an outstanding selection for the President's Intelligence Advisory Board,” wrote Chair and Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences James Russell in an email to The Herald.
“She will provide thoughtful and well-informed advice for our intelligence community to combat the increasingly adverse impacts of climate change on our nation,” Russell wrote. “This selection is a great recognition of her leadership, understanding and tireless advocacy in this field.”
Neil Mehta is the editor-in-chief and president of the Brown Daily Herald's 134th editorial board. They study public health and statistics at Brown. Outside the office, you can find Neil baking and playing Tetris.