WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council today named Kathy Baughman McLeod, a leading risk and resilience expert, as the director of its Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience.
At a pivotal time defined by an increase in major natural disasters and disruptive events, Baughman McLeod will lead and expand the Center’s work to develop solutions to build the resilience capacity of individuals, communities and institutions facing three key challenges – climate change, migration and security.
Baughman McLeod brings to the Atlantic Council a wealth of global experience and expertise in risk and resilience on issues that include climate change, natural disasters, financial tools, climate adaptation and insurance solutions.
“Kathy is a high-energy strategist, thought leader, and operative in the business of creating innovative strategies and solutions to build resilience in communities and organizations,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “Kathy’s appointment underscores the Council’s commitment to building the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience into one of the world’s leading resources for demonstrated, scalable solutions to foster resilience.”
Baughman McLeod comes to the Atlantic Council from Bank of America, where she served as Senior Vice President, Global Environmental & Social Risk where she led the Bank’s climate change risk assessment and strategy and global environmental and social risk policy. She also helped leverage the organization’s global reach to advance low carbon and climate-resilient investments, helping to achieve its commitment to deploy $125 billion in capital by 2025.
Prior to this, she was Global Managing Director, Climate Risk & Resilience for the Nature Conservancy, where she transformed the organization’s approach to reducing climate impacts by developing new market-based insurance products based on nature’s protective value for economies and launching a global humanitarian initiative to safeguard vulnerable coastal communities.
Adrienne Arsht, chairman emerita of TotalBank and executive vice chair of the Atlantic Council, provided the vision and was the founding donor for the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience in 2016. The concept then and now has been to provide strategies that help nations, cities, communities and individuals respond effectively to disruptions, understand and manage complex interdependent systems, and thrive in an unpredictable global environment.
“Kathy brings to the groundbreaking work of the Arsht Center for Resilience a depth of expertise and perspectives from the private and public sectors,” said Arsht. “At a time when volatility and change is the only certainty, I am delighted that such a capable person will lead our pioneering work on resilience.”
Said Baughman McLeod, “the opportunity to help build resilience around the world through the deep expertise, stellar reputation and global reach of the Atlantic Council is a professional dream come true. I am thrilled to be leading the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience.”
Baughman McLeod is an award-winning creator and producer of the documentary film series, The Nature of People, was a policy fellow of the French Foreign Ministry and a gubernatorial appointee to the Florida Energy & Climate Commission. She earned an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and MS in Geography, and a BS in International Affairs from Florida State University.
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