Kate Gordon just completed a 2 year appointment as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, where she focused on integrating just energy transition strategies into federal policy implementation and spending, including the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act. Previously, Gordon was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Senior Advisor to the Governor on Climate by Governor Gavin Newsom at the beginning of his first term of office in January 2019. While in this role, Gordon helped to launch the Community Economic Resilience Fund and the Climate Catalyst Fund, and spearheaded the state’s efforts to better account for physical and transition risks from climate change into budget and lending decisions.
Trained as a community organizer, and later in law and regional economic development, Gordon’s focus has long been on bringing diverse groups together to work toward a more sustainable, inclusive economy. Prior to her time serving in the California cabinet, Gordon was the founding director of the Risky Business Project, which focused on quantifying the economic impacts of climate change on U.S. energy demand, crop yields, and coastal infrastructure as well as on human health and mortality. As part of this work, Gordon consulted numerous investors and corporations on strategies to reduce climate risks across investments and assets, and also served as a co-author on the Fourth National Climate Assessment’s chapter on “Reducing Risks Through Adaptation Actions.”
Gordon has served in senior leadership positions at several nonpartisan think tanks including the Henry M. Paulson Institute, the Center for the Next Generation, the Center for American Progress, and as a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Gordon got her start on energy and climate issues working to craft progressive policies at the intersection of labor, business, community, and environmental interests at the national Apollo Alliance, where she ultimately served as co-Executive Director until the merger with the Blue-Green Alliance in 2011.
Gordon earned a J.D. and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.