Rosina Bierbaum is an ecologist who has played a leading role at the intersection of climate change science and policy. She has authored dozens of scientific reports and journal articles on climate change science and policy and has served as a scientific adviser to both the U.S. Congress and the White House.
In the early 1980s, Bierbaum joined the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress where she led research on climate change issues and authored reports on mitigation and adaptation. In the mid-1990s, she moved to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President, eventually becoming Associate Director for Environment, a position requiring Senate confirmation. In this position, she served as the Clinton Administration's senior scientific adviser on environmental research and development, with responsibilities for advising the administration on a wide spectrum of domestic and international environmental issues. While at OSTP, Bierbaum coordinated the U.S. government's reviews of the Second Assessment Report (1995) and the Third Assessment Report (2001) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and led U.S. delegations to the IPCC plenary sessions in Costa Rica in 1998, in Montreal in 1999, and in Shanghai in 2001. She also headed the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-China bilateral session on climate science in 2000. In 2001, she served as Acting Director of OSTP during the transition between the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations before becoming Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.
In 2008, The World Bank selected Bierbaum to be co-author and co-director of its World Development Report 2010, which will focus on climate change and development.
Bierbaum is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The American Geophysical Union awarded her its Waldo E. Smith Medal in 2000, and the Environmental Protection Agency awarded her the 1999 Climate Protection Award. She serves on numerous scientific advisory boards and committees for federal and non-governmental organizations and philanthropic foundations.
Bierbaum earned her B.S. in Biology and B.A. in English from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.