Speaker

Ana Unruh Cohen is the Senior Director for NEPA, Infrastructure and Clean Energy at the White House Council on Environmental Quality where she works to make federal permitting more effective and efficient to help meet President Biden’s climate and clean energy goals. 

Dr. Unruh Cohen has spent more than two decades working on U.S. federal climate and energy policy in Washington, DC. From 2019 through 2022, she served as the majority Staff Director of the House Select Committee on the Climates Crisis, leading the development of a comprehensive Congressional climate action plan that set the stage for energy and climate provisions in the 2020 omnibus appropriations act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPs and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Of the 715 recommendations included in the 2020 Select Committee Democratic staff report supporting the plan, 438 passed the House of Representatives and 314 became law by the end of 2022. 

During her Congressional career, she also served as the Director of Energy, Climate and Natural Resources for Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts), as the Deputy Staff Director of the Natural Resource Committee Democratic staff, and as the majority Deputy Staff Director and Chief Scientist of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. She also served as a legislative aide to then-Congressman Edward J. Markey, handling various issues pending before the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. Dr. Unruh Cohen originally joined Congressman Markey's staff as the 2001-2002 Science and Technology Policy Fellow sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. 

Off of Capitol Hill, Dr. Unruh Cohen was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. She was managing director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the NRDC Action Fund and was also the first Director of Environmental Policy at the Center for American Progress.

Dr. Unruh Cohen has a B.S. in Chemistry from Trinity University and received her D.Phil. in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar and a NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Dr. Unruh Cohen’s husband is an aerospace engineer and they have a daughter.