Katherine Sierra, Leading Expert on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Joins Brookings

Katherine Sierra, former vice president for sustainable development at the World Bank, is joining Brookings as a senior fellow, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

After more than 30 years as a development professional and senior executive at the World Bank, Sierra will join the Global Economy and Development program on August 2, focusing on climate change and energy. Sierra oversaw the Bank’s global environment, infrastructure and agricultural activities and led its climate change strategy—including creation of the $6.5 billion Climate Investment Funds and management of $2.5 billion in Carbon Finance funds. Sierra broadened the Bank’s climate change strategy to tackle adaptation and focus on agriculture, water, eco-system and urban sectors and the impact on the least developed countries. “Kathy Sierra joins Brookings at a critical time in finding solutions to climate change,” said Kemal Derviş, vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings. “Under her leadership and expertise, she will bring Brookings to the forefront of climate and energy issues with a heavy focus on the world’s poor and global economic development.”

Sierra was the Bank’s spokesperson on climate change, and represented it at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change high level meetings and at the G-8 and G-20 on climate and environment issues. She is a frequent speaker on the issues surrounding development and climate change, including bringing her expertise on climate finance to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development and other private sector forums.

As World Bank vice president, she oversaw the World Development Reports on Climate Change (2010), Economic Geography (2009), and Agriculture (2008). She was chair of the Consultative Group for International Agriculture Research and served in various executive roles throughout the World Bank. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in anthropology and Hispanic civilization from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1976); a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (1978), and graduated from the General Managers Program from the Harvard Business School in 1998.

Global Economy and Development at Brookings aims to shape the policy debate on how to manage globalization and fight global poverty. The program is home to leading scholars from around the world, who use their expertise in international macroeconomics, political economy, international relations and development and environmental economics to tackle some of today’s most pressing development challenges.