Dr. Ilissa Ocko is a Senior Climate Scientist and Barbra Streisand Chair of Environmental Studies at Environmental Defense Fund. She leads their climate science team in pursuing actionable research on the climate impacts of different types of greenhouse gases and the benefits of various climate change mitigation strategies. Dr. Ocko has published several policy-relevant scientific studies in journals including Science, Nature Climate Change, Environmental Research Letters, Environmental Science and Technology, and Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics among others. Her current work is focused on improving our understanding of the unintended climate consequences of clean energy initiatives, such as hydrogen. Dr. Ocko works with economists, lawyers, and policy experts to turn the science into action by finding the most practical and effective ways to curb climate change both during our lifetimes and for generations to come. She is committed to communicating science to non-experts using plain language and powerful visuals, and is an avid designer of science graphics. In 2016, she won a U.S. science communications contest sponsored by NASA, and went on to represent the U.S. in the international contest, advancing to the finals. In 2021, Dr. Ocko gave a TED talk at their Countdown event on the fastest way to slow climate change now. She earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University, and a B.S.E. in Earth System Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. Dr. Ocko also holds a certificate in environmental policy from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.
Senior Climate Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund