As the global community continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Atlantic Council is open for business. Our business, meetings, and events, however, are occurring virtually. For more information, please read an update from our President and CEO.

Join us as we make a major announcement on addressing extreme heat, followed by an interactive dialogue – using the power of visual storytelling and humor with cartoonists from The New Yorker – to reveal the impacts of this growing public health crisis.

Even before coronavirus spiraled into a global pandemic, extreme heat was killing more people than any other natural disaster—and is expected to affect more than 3.5 billion people globally in the coming decades as each passing year sets a new bar for the hottest on record. Heat waves truly are the “silent killer”: much more lethal yet rarely commanding the same attention of more visibly devastating disasters like tropical storms or hurricanes.

Rising temperatures haven’t slowed with the rise of COVID-19. But the global pandemic will make dealing with extreme heat even more challenging.

The resulting economic downturn may push many individuals and families of the global middle class into poverty—and poverty often means increased heat exposure, especially for those living in cities susceptible to the “urban heat island effect”. 

Public health budgets are also now decimated because of the economic impacts of the virus; resources are scarce and government funding for vital cooling projects will only become scarcer. What’s more, the ongoing response of COVID-19 has resulted in deferred climate action. When climate action is delayed, there is potential for an even greater increase in global temperatures. This only underscores the urgency of addressing the impacts of extreme heat for vulnerable people, both locally and through international policy fora.

What can be done to mitigate the effects of extreme heat? How can society adapt?

Don’t miss this big announcement and a cartoon-inspired session as we set a path to address this growing public health crisis, known as the “silent killer”.

We recommend you join us on Zoom by registering below for the complete interactive experience of the event. Please email us at if you do not receive the Zoom webinar details after registration.

Welcome Remarks

Adrienne Arsht
Founder, Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center & Executive Vice Chair, Atlantic Council

Major Announcement

Hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center


Kathy Baughman McLeod
Director and Senior Vice President, Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center,
Atlantic Council

Madeleine Thomson
Head, Our Planet, Our Health
Wellcome Trust

Jeff Goodell
New York Times Bestselling Author & Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone
Senior Fellow, 
Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Atlantic Council

Moderated by

Reena Ninan
Journalist & International Correspondent

The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center will reach one billion people with resilience solutions to climate change, migration, and security challenges by 2030. We will focus our efforts on individuals, communities, and a broad spectrum of governments and institutions to help them, and their constituencies and stakeholders, better prepare for, navigate, and recover from shocks and stresses. We will help build a more resilient world.