Newsha Ajami

Newsha K. Ajami

Nonresident Senior Fellow – Brookings Metro

Newsha K. Ajami is the chief strategic development officer for research in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL). A leading expert in sustainable water resource management, smart cities, and water policy, at LBL, Ajami is focused on developing and leading strategic and impact-focused research initiatives at the nexus of water, energy, and climate.  

Ajami was a two-term gubernatorial appointee to the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board and is currently a mayoral appointee to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Ajami serves on the National Academies Water Science and Technology Board, is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and sits on several advisory boards. Before joining LBL she served as the founding director of the Stanford Urban Water Policy program and a senior research scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute. Earlier in her career, she also served as a science and technology fellow at the California State Legislature, working on water and energy-related legislation.  


Ajami graduated from the University of California, Irvine where she received her doctorate in civil and environmental engineering. 

  • Current Positions

    • Director, Urban Water Policy with Stanford University’s Water in the West program
    • Appointee to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Past Positions

    • Appointee to the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board
    • Senior research scholar at the Pacific Institute
  • Education

    • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC, Irvine
    • M.S., Hydrology and Water Resources, the University of Arizona
    • B.S., Civil Engineering, Amir Kabir University of Technology in Tehran.
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