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Kathy Baughman McLeod bio photo

Kathy Baughman McLeod

Director, Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
SVP, Atlantic Council

Kathy leads the Center’s global strategy to reach one billion people worldwide with climate resilience solutions by 2030, with a special focus on society’s most vulnerable. She also chairs the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA), a global alliance of 40+ government officials, disaster relief organizations, climate scientists, public health and medical experts, businesses, and nonprofits, that is delivering early warning, policy, finance, and on-the-ground solutions, including appointing Chief Heat Officers in cities around the world. Additionally, she is spearheading the global push to name and categorize heat waves to save lives and build the culture of awareness and preparedness necessary to combat extreme heat. Heat wave Zoe was officially named in Seville, Spain in July 2022. Kathy served of the World Economic Forum’s Global Commission on “BiodiverCities by 2030” and is a member of the Operating Committee of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF). Under her direction, Arsht-Rock is also a managing partner for the UN’s “Race to Resilience” campaign and Resilience Hub at COP26 and COP27.

Formerly, she served as Global Executive for Environmental and Social Risk at Bank of America, Managing Director for Climate Resilience at The Nature Conservancy — where she helped devise the world’s first insurance product on a natural asset; a 40 km stretch of the Mesoamerican reef in Mexico. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the elected Treasurer/CFO of the State of Florida, where she was instrumental in making the Florida Treasury the first in the nation to publicly analyze and disclose the financial risks of climate. Kathy was also an appointed Florida Climate and Energy Commissioner. Baughman McLeod is the recipient of the Fuqua School of Business 2021 “Leader of Consequence” award and was appointed to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Advisory Council as its first-ever climate specialist in 2021. She holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and an MS in Geography from Florida State University.