Rosina M. Bierbaum, Ph.D.



Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Michigan and member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Rosina M. Bierbaum, Ph.D.


Dr. Rosina Bierbaum is a Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy with appointments in both the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She serves as the Chair of the Scientific and Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); STAP provides strategic advice on GEF projects that will both protect the global commons and advance the goals of the Rio environmental treaties. Rosina served as Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment from October 2001 – October 2011. In that decade, she facilitated the creation of a new undergraduate Program in the Environment; enhanced interdisciplinary teaching and research by recruiting thirty-two new faculty to the School, developed new Master’s tracks to link engineering, architecture and urban planning, and natural resources; tripled research activity; and expanded the mission of the School to include global change.

In April 2009, President Barack Obama named Bierbaum to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST consists of 21 of the nation's leading scientists and engineers. They advise the President directly in areas where understanding of science, technology and innovation is key to forming responsible and effective policy. She chaired PCAST’s report “Sustaining Environmental Capital: Protecting Society and the Economy” which has led to increased coordination on valuation of ecosystem services across the Federal agencies and the creation of new bioinformatics tools to make data accessible to the public. She was also a lead author on a PCAST report to the President on near-term actions that can be taken to address climate change; she subsequently co-led a follow-on effort to develop Government options to enhance private sector preparedness and resilience to climate change.

Bierbaum chaired the Adaptation Chapter for the Congressionally-mandated U.S. National Climate Assessment, published in 2014. She also co-directed the World Bank’s World Development Report 2010, which focused on climate change and development for the first time. This report has served as the foundation for subsequent Bank-wide strategies on energy and environment, and the development of a public climate data portal. Bierbaum was the Acting Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in January 2001, and preceding that, she directed the first Environment Division at OSTP from 1995-2001. She served as the administration’s senior scientific advisor on the $2 billion environmental research and development strategy, with responsibilities for global change, air and water quality, biodiversity, ecosystem management, environmental monitoring, and energy research and development. Bierbaum’s career in Washington began in 1980 when she was awarded a Congressional Fellowship. She then continued working in the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), helping various Committees of the Congress tackle the emerging science and policy concerns posed by acid rain, marine pollution, urban smog, ozone depletion, energy production and climate change. She participated in 9 book length reports and testified many times before Congress.

In addition to the Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation, Bierbaum is also a board member for the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Federation of American Scientists, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, and the Climate Reality Project. She is also a member of the International Advisory Board for the journal “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment” and the Executive Committee for the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Dr. Bierbaum serves on environmental Advisory Panels for both the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainability Investment.

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Ecological Society of America, received the American Geophysical Union’s Waldo Smith award for ‘extraordinary service to Geosciences, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Climate Protection Award”.

Bierbaum has lectured on every continent, and in more than 20 countries.