Katharine (Kit) Batten is a recognized expert in climate-change policy and international development with fifteen years of sustainability leadership in governments, companies, NGO's, and universities. Dr. Batten is a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University in the School of Sustainability; teaches capstone courses for ASU's Executive Masters in Sustainability Leadership program; and works with the ASU's Just Energy Transition Center. She also is a consultant on climate change and sustainability issues and serves on the board of Unite Oregon, a non-profit organization led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty that is dedicated to working across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice.
In previous roles, Dr. Batten led a company-wide initiative to increase the climate resilience of Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E’s) operations and infrastructure, as well as the resilience of the communities PG&E serves. Dr. Batten also served as a political appointee in the Obama Administration, as the Global Climate Change Coordinator at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she led the agency’s efforts to implement climate-resilient, low-carbon sustainable development programs in more than 40 countries, and as science advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. She also held positions in the offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Joe Lieberman. In academia and non-profit sectors, Dr. Batten served as Executive Director at the University of California, Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy; as senior science and policy fellow and program director at the H. John Heinz III center for Science, Economics and the Environment; and as senior fellow/managing director for energy and environmental policy at the Center for American Progress. Dr. Batten earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oberlin College and master’s and doctoral degrees in ecology from U.C. Davis.