Jainey K. Bavishi, a distinguished expert in the field of climate adaptation and resilience, started today as the assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. The U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination on December 22.
In this role, Bavishi will be responsible for providing agency-wide direction with regard to climate resilience, fisheries, coastal and ocean programs, including efforts related to NOAA’s implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.
“Jainey is the perfect person for NOAA and our nation at this critical moment,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Her experience and leadership in developing multilayered and multidisciplinary solutions for community resilience are essential as we tackle the consequences of our changing climate.”
Bavishi most recently served in the New York City Mayor’s Office as director of the Office of Climate Resiliency where she oversaw the implementation of climate resilience strategies for the nation’s largest city. Prior to that, she was the associate director for climate preparedness at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She also held posts as the director of external affairs and senior policy advisor at NOAA from 2010 to 2013.
Bavishi also led a nonprofit initiative that built partnerships to scale innovative approaches to disaster risk reduction in the Asia Pacific region. Previous to that she was the head of a philanthropic initiative to build a coalition of community-based leaders focused on an equitable recovery from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike in the Gulf Coast region.
“Jainey’s knowledge of NOAA, along with her skills and expertise, make her the right fit for this critical position at a time when climate and oceans are central to so many key policies and decisions,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “I look forward to working with Jainey again and know she will be a champion of NOAA’s science, service and stewardship mission — especially when it comes to connecting communities to the vast array of NOAA’s actionable climate data and information.”
“I am thrilled to be returning to NOAA to advance our efforts to prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change that we experience today and expect in the future,” said Bavishi. “NOAA plays a critical role in supporting communities and businesses to adapt to a changing environment. I am excited to work with the extraordinary team of experts at NOAA, as well as our partners in the federal government and beyond, to deploy NOAA’s science and services to support informed and equitable decision-making in the face of the climate crisis.”
Bavishi earned a bachelor’s in public policy and cultural anthropology from Duke University, and a master’s in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.