Keynote Address

260th Opening Convocation Keynote Address

“Your Climate Inheritance"
Kim Cobb, Director, Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Kim Cobb

Kim Cobb is the director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society and professor in environment and society as well as earth, environmental and planetary sciences. As a climate scientist, she uses observations of past and present climate to advance our understanding of future climate change impacts, with a focus on climate extremes and coastal flooding. She received her B.A. from Yale University in 1996, and her Ph.D. in oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in 2002. Prior to joining Brown in 2022, she served as director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Tech, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and ADVANCE Professor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

In her research, Cobb has sailed on oceanographic cruises to the remote central Pacific and led caving expeditions in the Borneo rainforests. She received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the Hans Oeschger Medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2019. She was elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2021, and was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report, released in 2021. In 2023, President Biden appointed her to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. 

As a mother to four, Cobb is a strong advocate for women in science, and champions diversity and inclusion in all that she does. She is also devoted to the communication of climate change to the public through media appearances, public speaking and social media channels, and enjoys frequent exchanges with policymakers about climate impacts and solutions.