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Rebecca Shaw

Rebecca Shaw joined the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2016 as senior vice president and chief scientist; in this role, she is responsible for building a science program to support WWF’s global network. She spent years building interdisciplinary programs to find incentive- and community-based solutions to some of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. She has built a sterling reputation over 25 years as a recognized thought leader and strategist on a wide array of environmental issues, including climate change and agricultural impacts on biodiversity, climate change adaptation, sustainable fisheries, sustainable water management, and ecosystem services. Dr. Shaw has published widely, including in leading journals such as Science and Nature, and is the recipient of numerous awards and research fellowships for her work. She is a lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report that focuses on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability; on the steering committee of the UN’s Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture; and a lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Previously, she was associate vice president of the Ecosystems program at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where she was responsible for developing and implementing the vision and strategy. In that role, she oversaw implementation of market, policy, and science initiatives including incentives for biodiversity markets, greenhouse gas emissions reductions from commodity crop supply chains, climate resilience in coastal zones, and freshwater conservation. Prior to EDF, she spent 10 years with the Nature Conservancy (TNC) where she was director of conservation and science, leading state and international conservation efforts. Before joining TNC, she was a member of a dynamic team of researchers at the Carnegie Institution’s department of global ecology at Stanford University exploring the impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation of the environment and society to a changing climate. She received a PhD in energy and resources and an MA in environmental policy from University of California, Berkeley.

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