Staff Bios

Kathryn (Kate) Zyla

Kathryn (Kate) Zyla

Kathryn Zyla is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, where she oversees the Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level. She is also a senior lecturer at Georgetown University Law Center and faculty advisor for the student Georgetown Energy Law Group. 

Zyla served as Deputy Director and Director of Research and Policy Analysis for the Climate Center from 2009-2018. Prior roles include Program Director, Northeast Policy, at Energy Foundation; Senior Associate in the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute; and Senior Research Fellow for Domestic Policy at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. She has a BS in engineering from Swarthmore College, a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment, and a JD, cum laude, from Georgetown Law. Zyla has served as a Commissioner on the District of Columbia’s Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency since 2017, and was a member of the Engineering Advisory Council for Swarthmore College from 2013-2018. In 2016, she received the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Law and Finance Award, given by the Department of Energy, MIT Energy Initiative, and Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy.

 

Joe Kruger

Joe Kruger

Joe Kruger is the Director for Research and Strategy at the Georgetown Climate Center. Previously, Joe was a consultant to companies, non-profits, and state governments on climate policy and sustainability issues. From 2005-2014, he was a director at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the National Commission on Energy Policy (BPC’s predecessor), where he led initiatives on power sector regulations, climate policy, and electric grid modernization and cybersecurity. In 2009, he took a leave of absence from BPC to serve as Deputy Associate Director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Earlier in his career, Joe worked at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he managed groups working on acid rain, climate policy, and technical assistance to foreign governments on air pollution and greenhouse gas reduction programs. Joe has also been a Visiting Fellow at Resources for the Future and an Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) analyst at the Investor Responsibility Research Center. Joe was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, and he has written numerous publications on climate, energy, and environmental topics. He has an MPP from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. in government and economics from Cornell.

 

James Bradbury

James Bradbury

James Bradbury is the Mitigation Program Director for the Georgetown Climate Center. He oversees the Climate Center’s work on reducing emissions from all sectors. This includes the Climate Center’s work on the power sector, supporting state leadership and also coordinated engagement with the federal government through facilitation, convening, and analysis. James also manages the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a collaboration among 12 northeast and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.

James has over 12 years of experience working with a broad range of stakeholders to help advance climate and clean energy policies at the federal and state levels. Prior to joining the Climate Center, he served as a Senior Policy Advisor for Climate, Environment and Efficiency in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. Previously, James worked as a Senior Associate in the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute and as a Senior Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives.

James holds a PhD in Geosciences from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a MS in Hydrology from the University of New Hampshire and a BA in Geology from Colorado College.

 

Annie Bennett

Annie Bennett

Annie Bennett is the Acting Adaptation Program Director for the Georgetown Climate Center. In this role she oversees the Center's adaptation portfolio of work, which includes a variety of support for state, regional, and local adaptation policy. Annie also works more directly on policy issues relating to resilience in the transportation sector, cross-jurisdictional adaptation and governance, and equitable natural solutions to build resilience in communities. She is currently serving on the Transportation Research Board's Standing Committee on Extreme Weather and Climate Change Adaptation.

Prior to joining the Center, Annie worked on legal and policy questions related to urban heat adaptation as part of the Harrison Institute for Public Law's policy clinic. She also interned at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, working on Fifth Amendment takings cases. Annie holds a J.D. from Georgetown Law and an A.B. in Chemistry and Neuroscience from Dartmouth College.

 

Pete Rafle

Pete Rafle

Pete Rafle is Communications Director for the Georgetown Climate Center. Pete came to the Climate Center from Spitfire Strategies, where he provided communications and campaign planning counsel to the nation’s leading non-profits and foundations on issues ranging from climate change and agricultural policy to health care and criminal justice reform. He served as Communications Director for the Environment and Public Works Committee from 2007 to 2011, providing strategic counsel to Senator Barbara Boxer during her first two Congresses as Chairman of the Committee. In addition to acting as primary media strategist for the Committee’s legislative docket – including comprehensive climate change legislation, clean air and water bills, and transportation policy – he worked extensively with the Senator’s in-state staff on California environmental and infrastructure issues. Prior to his Senate service, he was Director of Advocacy Communications at The Wilderness Society and Communications Director for Trout Unlimited, where he also served as editor and publisher of Trout Magazine. Pete earned his B.A. in English at Yale.

 

Matthew Goetz

Matthew Goetz

Matthew Goetz is a Senior Associate and Program Manager at the Georgetown Climate Center, where he works on climate change and transportation policy development. Matthew provides staffing support to the Transportation and Climate Initiative--a collaboration of the 12 northeast and mid-Atlantic states and DC.  Matthew also develops legal and policy documents to inform state and federal climate policy and coordinates the Climate Center’s electric vehicle program, including analysis with a focus on state and federal policies to support regional electric vehicle corridor planning and electric utility regulation.

Prior to joining the Climate Center, Matthew worked at the AES Corporation, an energy generation and distribution company, and completed legal clerkships at the U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement and U.S. EPA Office of Water. Matthew earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in political science from Wake Forest University.

 

Drew Veysey

Drew Veysey

Drew Veysey, a Senior Associate at the Georgetown Climate Center, conducts quantitative and policy analysis on transportation issues and supports facilitation of the Transportation and Climate Initiative.  His work focuses on market-based policies, investment strategies, and renewable fuels to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

Drew is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental studies, where he earned a Master of Environmental Management degree specialized in energy systems analysis and industrial ecology.  Previously, Drew worked for Futurepast: Inc. where he audited greenhouse gas inventories and was co-author on Airport Cooperative Research Program Report 165: “Tracking Alternative Jet Fuel.” He also holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Science from American University where he was a 2008 Udall Scholar.

 

Katie Spidalieri

Katie Spidalieri

Katie Spidalieri, a Senior Associate at the Georgetown Climate Center, provides legal and policy analysis and place-based support on adaptation projects at the federal, state, and local levels. Her work focuses on adaptation in the coastal sector, including managed retreat strategies, to adapt to rising seas and flooding. Prior to joining the Climate Center, Katie worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and state environmental agencies in Maryland and North Carolina in permitting, environmental compliance, offshore energy and infrastructure development, land use, and community engagement and outreach in the place-based management of national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments. 

Katie graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and the University of Virginia where she received two degrees, with distinction, in history and an interdisciplinary Environmental Thought and Practice Program. In 2021, Katie graduated with her Masters of Law in Environmental and Energy Law from Georgetown University Law Center.

 

Caren Fitzgerald

Caren Fitzgerald

Caren Fitzgerald is the Communications Associate for the Georgetown Climate Center. She is an environment and policy communicator specializing in climate change, energy, and sustainability messaging. She facilitates media, stakeholder, and partner engagement for the Center and its initiatives. She previously worked as the Community Relations Officer for the State of Delaware Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy, developing and executing targeted outreach for clean transportation initiatives, energy efficiency incentives, climate change adaptation and mitigation education, and stakeholder engagement in regulatory development processes. Caren received a Bachelor’s Degree with Distinction from the University of Delaware with a double major in environmental law and policy and English. 

 

Kate McCormick

Kate McCormick

Kate McCormick is an Institute Associate at the Georgetown Climate Center, where she works on a variety of topics, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. She previously worked at the Environmental Law Institute, where she helped to research and publish a Brownfield guide, as well as assisted in rewriting Kazakhstan’s Environmental Code. She has written and published various papers, most recently regarding the demilitarization of chemical weapons in accordance with environmental laws both domestically and abroad. She graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in English, and from Georgetown University Law Center with a J.D..

 

Ryan Levandowski

Ryan Levandowski

Ryan Levandowski is an Institute Associate at the Georgetown Climate Center. His work focuses on tracking and analysis of clean vehicles and climate change mitigation policy at the nexus of federal and state government. Previously, Ryan has worked with the U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and NYU Law’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center. He earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University with a B.A. in English.

 

 

Jennifer Li

Jennifer Li

Jennifer Li is a Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor at the Harrison Institute for Public Law, where she supervises law students enrolled in the Policy Clinic and also provides legal and policy analysis for the Climate Center. Her work focuses on state and local adaptation policy and centering equity in adaptation strategies. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Jennifer was a Fulbright scholar in India, where she researched climate policy and taught international human rights at Jindal Global Law School. She received her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. from Fordham Law School, and B.A. from NYU.

 

Jesse Elliott

Jesse Elliott

Jesse Elliott is a 2021 Summer Research Fellow at the Climate Center, where he tracks and analyzes federal, state, and local climate resilience legislation. Jesse also tracks administrative and agency policy development related to climate adaptation and environmental justice. He received an L.L.M. in Environmental and Energy Law at Georgetown Law Center and received a J.D. from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Prior to his graduate education, Jesse earned a B.S. in biological sciences and a B.G.S. with a political sciences concentration.

 

Vicki Arroyo

Vicki Arroyo

From December 2008 until January 2021, Vicki Arroyo was the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law, where she continues to teach. On January 20, 2021, Arroyo joined the Biden-Harris Administration as Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

As GCC’s founding Executive Director, Professor Arroyo oversaw the Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level. She served as Special Advisor to the President of Georgetown University, and was previously Assistant Dean of Centers and Institutes. She was also a member of the faculty steering committee for the Georgetown Environment Initiative, a cross-campus effort to advance the interdisciplinary study of the environment in relation to society, scientific understanding, and sound policy.

She previously worked at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, including serving as the Pew Center’s Vice President for Domestic Policy and General Counsel. For over a decade, she directed the Pew Center’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and domestic policy programs. She also served as Managing Editor of the Center’s book and oversaw publication of numerous reports and policy briefs. In 2018, Professor Arroyo was elected a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL).

She practiced environmental law with Kilpatrick Stockton and other private firms and served in two offices at U.S. EPA: the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development where she reviewed development of standards under the Clean Air Act. From 1988 to 1991, she created and directed the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s policy office, and served during some of that time as Governor Buddy Roemer's environmental advisor, representing the state on a National Governors Association global warming task force.

Professor Arroyo previously served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academy of Sciences and chaired TRB’s Resilience and Sustainability Task Force. She serves on the Board of Advisors of the Institute of Transportation at UC Davis, and has testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on steps that states and cities are taking to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from transportation and to make communities more resilient to the serious consequences of climate change. She previously served for seven years on the Advisory Board to the National Science Foundation’s Geosciences Directorate, and for three years on the Board of Trustees to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.  She helped develop California's cap-and-trade system as a member of California’s Economics and Allocation Advisory Committee. She has also held positions on the external advisory committee to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and on several other federal panels, including those reviewing economic modeling of climate legislation (DOE’s Energy Information Administration) and on climate change adaptation along the Gulf Coast (Climate Change Science Program). She also served as Associate Editor of the journal Climate Policy and a member of the editorial board for The Georgetown Environmental Law Review

In addition to teaching at Georgetown Law, she has taught courses on environmental policy and climate change at Catholic University, George Mason University’s graduate public policy program, and Tulane Law School. In April 2013, she was named one of PODER Hispanic Magazine's "Green 100," and her 2012 TED Talk "Let's Prepare for Our New Climate" has been viewed more than one million times. 

She holds a B.S. in biology, high honors, from Emory (double major in philosophy); a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard (receiving the Don K. Price award for academic achievement and commitment to public service, the top honors in her program), and a J.D., Magna Cum Laude, from Georgetown Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Georgetown International Environmental Law Review.

Selected Publications

Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing: Investing in America’s Surface Transportation Infrastructure: The Need for a Multi-Year Reauthorization Bill, July 2019 

Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing: Realigning Federal Infrastructure Policy to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change, February 2019

"The Global Climate Action Summit: Increasing Ambition During Turbulent Times." Climate Policy Journal, September 2018.

“Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems – 2017 Year in Review,” American Bar Association, April 2018 (contributing author).

“State and Local Climate Leadership in the Trumpocene," Carbon and Climate Law Review, Special Issue: “The Changing Prospects for Climate Law and Policy in the U.S.,” October 2017.

“New Strategies for Reducing Transportation Emissions and Preparing for Climate Impacts,” Fordham Urban Law Journal, (co-authors: Kathryn Zyla and Gabe Pacyniak) October 2017.

"The U.S. is the Biggest Loser Thanks to Trump’s Calamitous Act,” The Guardian, June 2017.

“Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems – 2016 Year in Review,” American Bar Association, March 2017 (contributing author).

“State Innovation on Climate Change: Reducing Emissions from Key Sectors while Preparing for a New Normal,” Harvard Law and Policy Review, (co-authors: Kathryn Zyla, Gabe Pacyniak, and Melissa Deas) Summer 2016.

“Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems – 2015 Year in Review,” American Bar Association, 2016 (contributing author).

“The Coming Refugee Crisis: When Home Leaves Us,” The Guardian, May 2016.

Saving Ourselves: Interviews with World Leaders on the Sustainable Transition, World Scientific, (contributor) 2016.

“Think Beyond Homes and Roads to Better Prepare for Climate Change,” New York Times, October 2015.

"Lessons Learned from Rebuilding New Orleans: Consider Our Changing Climate," Huffington Post, August 2015.

“Transportation Policy,” in Climate Change and Public Health, (co-author: Kathryn Zyla) Spring 2015.

“Promoting Adaptation Through Policy,” in The State of Adaptation in the U.S., commissioned and published by the MacArthur Foundation, April 2013.

“State and Local Adaptation to Climate Change,” in Adaptation to Climate Change and the Law, American Bar Assn. book  (co-author: Terri Cruce), Sept. 2012.

“Are there Winning Strategies for Climate Policy?” Review of the book Climate Clever:  How Governments Can Tackle Climate Change (and Still Win Elections) in Climate Policy, September 2012.

“Regional Action: A U.S. Perspective,” in Regional and State Policies for Economic Competitiveness and Mitigation, Heinrich Boll Foundation Transatlantic Dialogue (fall 2011).

“Upside-down Cooperative Federalism: Climate Change Policymaking and the States.”  Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 2011 (Vivian Thomson co-author).

“US Climate Policy,” in Cerdá, E. and Labandeira, X. (eds) Climate Change Policies. Global Challenges and Future Prospects, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (UK), 2010.

“Current Directions in the U.S. Climate Change Debate: Prospects for a Post-2012 World,” UN Development Report 2007.

“Change in the Marketplace,” in Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
“Climate Policy Should Focus on Reducing Emissions,” in Environmental Forum, ELI, 2007.

“Addressing the Costs of Climate Change Mitigation,” and “Establishing a Domestic GHG Reduction Target,” two chapters in: Climate Change Policy Dialogue, Aspen Institute, 2004.

“US Domestic Climate Policy,” Climate Policy, 2001 (with Henry Lee and Manik Roy).

Managing Editor of  book: Climate Change: Science, Strategies, and Solutions, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Brill, 2001 and authored chapter on “Climate Change Legislation in the U.S.”

“Jefferson Hazardous Waste Negotiation Game,” Harvard Negotiation Project, 1987 (with Larry Susskind).

“Waste Wars: The Fight Over Hazardous Waste Importation,” Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 1993.