Katherine Smith Appointed NECASC Federal Director

Monday, November 30, 2020
Katherine Smith

Dr. Katherine Smith

The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center is delighted to announce that the United States Geological Survey has appointed Dr. Katherine Smith as the center’s Federal Director. In this capacity, Dr. Smith will play a major role in advancing the mission of the center by helping articulate its vision, formulate its long-term strategic plan, and enhance collaboration with its expansive network of partners. Smith has also recently assumed duties as the Federal Director for the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.

Smith brings 13 years of experience leading national and regional federal science programs to her position at NE CASC. Prior to her appointment, she served for six years as the Assistant Station Director of the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Oregon. There she provided research program direction and developed interdisciplinary research initiatives to inform land management and climate adaptation strategies. She has also worked with stakeholders and scientists to develop national research programs and agendas including the USFS Fish and Wildlife Strategic Program Area and the NOAA Habitat Assessment Improvement Plan. Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia, her MS in Fisheries and Wildlife Management at Michigan State University, and her BS in Economics & Ecology at Tulane University. She began her federal career with NOAA as a Knauss Fellow in 2007 and was selected for the U.S. Forest Service Senior Leader Program in 2013.

“NE CASC is extremely fortunate that Katherine Smith has been selected as our new Federal Director,” said Richard Palmer, University Director of the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “The Center, both on the university side and the federal side, is confident that Katherine will do a wonderful job leading our federal partners as we enter the second five-year cycle of our grant. In reviewing her background, we were highly impressed with the enormous amount of directly applicable experience and wide range of accomplishments Katherine amassed at the United States Forest Service. And as we learned more about her during the interview process, it became obvious that she is a thoughtful, effective, and visionary leader who will bring many innovative ideas to NE CASC. We are also excited about her outstanding record in the area of stakeholder engagement and her strong training in ecology and fish and wildlife management. Katherine will undoubtedly have an immediate and very positive impact on the center, and I look forward to working with her in the days ahead.”