Carolyn Kousky

Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy, Environmental Defense Fund; author of Understanding Disaster Insurance: New Tools for a More Resilient Future

Carolyn Kousky is Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy at Environmental Defense Fund. Dr. Kousky’s research examines multiple aspects of climate risk management and policy approaches for increasing resilience. She has published numerous articles, reports, and book chapters on the economics and policy of climate risk and disaster finance. She is the vice-chair of the California Climate Insurance Working Group, a university fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-resident scholar at the Insurance Information Institute, and a member of the Roundtable on Risk and Resilience of Extreme Events at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She was previously Executive Director at the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also directed the Policy Incubator. She has a BS in Earth Systems from Stanford University and a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University. Look for her forthcoming book in October: Understanding Disaster Insurance: New Tools for a More Resilient Future.


Podcast Guest Appearances

Risky Business: Underinsured Against Climate Disaster

Home and property insurance is complicated and typically boring – until a disaster happens to you. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people in high-risk disaster areas across the U.S. have been dropped from their insurance policies, leaving them both physically and financially vulnerable. At the same time, premiums have sky-rocketed, putting home and business coverage out of reach for many. 

Junia Howell is an urban sociologist on the faculty of the University of Illinois Chicago. Her research has found that FEMA disaster recovery payouts tend to increase inequity.