Will the Obama administration act on the president's vows to prioritize climate change policy in the second term? Can the events of the last year-instances of extreme weather and record atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide-pave the way for a less politicized conversation surrounding climate change policy in Washington? Featuring conversations with leading experts on climate change and environmental policy, The New Republic's Politics of Climate Change Forum will seek to forecast the future of climate change policy in the United States.
John M. Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., serves as a senior advisor to the Director on public health issues and as NIEHS liaison to its external constituencies, stakeholders, and advocacy groups. He also leads NIEHS efforts on climate change and human health. In this capacity he serves as HHS principal to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, for which he also co-chairs the Interagency Cross-Cutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health. Dr. Balbus' background combines training and experience in clinical medicine with expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, and risk sciences. He has authored studies and lectures on global climate change and health, transportation-related air pollution, the toxic effects of chemicals, and regulatory approaches to protecting susceptible subpopulations.
Before joining the NIEHS, Dr. Balbus was Chief Health Scientist for the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund. He served on the faculty of The George Washington University, where he was founding Director of the Center for Risk Science and Public Health, founding co-Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment, and Acting Chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. He maintains an adjunct faculty appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Balbus received his A.B. degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University, his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. In addition to current membership on the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine, Dr. Balbus has also served as a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board, the National Research Council's Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology and the EPA Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Public Health Association, and the Society of Toxicology.
Jonathan Cohn is nationally-recognized journalist covering domestic policy and politics for The New Republic, with a particular emphasis on health care, social welfare, and labor. The author of Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis—and the People Who Pay the Price, Cohn has been acknowledged as “one of the nation’s leading experts on health care policy” by the Washington Post and “one of the best health care writers out there” by the New York Times. He is a recipient of the Sidney Hillman and Harry Chapin media awards, and has been a finalist for Robert F. Kennedy and Helen Bernstein Book Awards, as well as the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Presently a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Cohn has also been a senior fellow with Demos, a media fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation, and a Griffith Leadership fellow at the University of Michigan. Cohn grew up in South Florida, where he became a devoted fan of the Miami Dolphins, and graduated from Harvard University, where he became a devoted fan of the Boston Red Sox. But his biggest devotion is to his wife and two children, with whom he lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Chris started his career in his Harvard dorm room where he co-founded Facebook along with roommates Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz. Obsessed with consumer technology from a young age, Hughes was responsible for user experience and product development for Facebook in the early years of the social web.
In 2007, he became Director of Online Organizing for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, creating a social network that empowered Obama supporters to create tens of thousands of grassroots groups and events, and to give over $500 million online. The average online donation was $80.
As Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The New Republic, Hughes is transitioning a nearly 100-year-old media company to the digital age, while holding onto its uncompromising focus on quality journalism about politics and culture. Integrated across mobile, tablet, web, and print, The New Republic is setting the standard for how mid-sized, traditional media brands can transition to the participatory web.
Hughes is also an independent investor in technology and media companies, a trustee of the Knight Foundation, and a board member of GiveDirectly. He has been named a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in the media category. Hughes graduated manga cum laude from Harvard in 2006 with a degree in History and Literature.
Anne L. Kelly is Director of Public Policy at Ceres, a non-profit coalition of investors and companies, which seeks to promote leadership and best practices in sustainability. Anne also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) a coalition of twenty-three leading consumer-facing companies including Nike, Starbucks and eBay seeking to advocate for meaningful climate and energy policy at the federal level. She is a registered lobbyist and is actively engaged on Capital Hill on behalf of Ceres and BICEP member companies.
Dan Lashof is the director of Natural Resources Defense Councils's Climate and Clean Air Program and is active in the areas of solutions to global warming, national energy policy, and climate science. Dan is involved in developing federal standards and legislation to place enforceable limits on carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants and to reduce America's dangerous dependence on oil. He has followed international climate negotiations since their inception and is a lead author of the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the role of land-use change and forestry in exacerbating or mitigating global warming. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from Harvard University and a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.
John D. Podesta
John Podesta is Chair of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Under his leadership American Progress has become a notable leader in the development of and advocacy for progressive policy.
Prior to founding the Center in 2003, Podesta served as White House chief of staff to President William J. Clinton. He served in the president’s cabinet and as a principal on the National Security Council. While in the White House, he also served as both an assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff, as well as staff secretary.
Podesta served as co-chair of President Barack Obama’s transition, where he coordinated the priorities of the incoming administration’s agenda, oversaw the development of its policies, and spearheaded its appointments of major cabinet secretaries and political appointees.
Additionally, Podesta has held numerous positions on Capitol Hill, including counselor to Democratic Leader Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996).
He is currently serving on the U.N. Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
A Chicago native, Podesta is a graduate of Knox College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is currently a visiting professor of law. He also authored The Power of Progress: How America’s Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate and Our Country.
Noam Scheiber has been with The New Republic since August, 2000. He holds a master's degree in economics from Oxford University and a B.S. in math from Tulane University. In addition to his work at TNR, Scheiber has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, The Washington Monthly, the Chicago Tribune, and The Christian Science Monitor. He has appeared on CNN, CNNfn, CNBC and NPR.
Anne Kelly, Director of Public Policy at Ceres, asserts that the motivations behind the adoption of green initiatives is less important than the changed behavior. Kelly also shares why going green is good business.