CLEE’s New Executive Director
Louise Bedsworth brings a unique depth of experience in environmental policy to the job.
I’m excited to announce that Louise Bedsworth is CLEE’s new Executive Director. It was no easy task to find the right person to run the center during such a crucial time for environmental and energy policy.
Louise was previously the head of our land use program and a senior advisor to the California China Climate Institute at CLEE led by Jerry Brown. She is an MIT grad who went to Berkeley for graduate school, where earned a master’s degree in environmental engineering and a PhD from ERG. ERG — more formally the Energy and Resources Group — is Berkeley’s unique, interdisciplinary program spanning economics and social science, environmental science, and engineering.
She came to CLEE from a position as Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council, a cabinet-level state agency focused on sustainable community development. The Council consists of seven state Cabinet members and three appointed public members. Her background will be especially valuable in our effort to integrate environmental justice more fully into our work. While at the Strategic Growth Council, she oversaw over $500 million, annually, in grant funding invested across three program areas (Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities; Transformative Climate Communities; and Climate Change). She also led the development and implementation of SGC’s Racial Equity Action Plan. These activities involved collaboration with stakeholders, legislators, and agencies throughout state government. In 2020, she won the Science in Public Service Award from the California Council on Science and Technology.
Before leading the Strategic Growth Council, she was the Deputy Director of the Office of Planning and Research in Governor Brown’s office. While there, she helped shape California policy in many important dimensions: establishing the state’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, created through Senate Bill 246 (2016); leading collaborative development of the Fourth California Climate Change Assessment, including leading development of the Statewide Summary report; and leading a a multi-agency team to design and implement the Community and Watershed Resilience Program, which was awarded $70.3 million as part of the federal National Disaster Resilience Competition. She also represented California in numerous international, national, and state meetings and events.
Louise has also held positions at the Public Policy Institute of California, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Redefining Progress, and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis. Thus, the experience she brings to the Executive Director experience is both deep and broad.
We have had a remarkable run out of outstanding Executive Directors from the day that CLEE was launched through Louise’s predecessor, Jordan Diamond. Louise will build on their work and lead CLEE’s amazing staff in new directions. She will also continue to contribute to the sustainable land use and China programs as she takes over the Executive Director’s duties. I couldn’t be happier about announcing her appointment.