Jainey Bhavishi’s monumental task for climate change

Jainey Bavishi. Photo: Twitter @jaineytweets

As director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Resiliency, Jainey Bavishi has been overseeing a $20 billion plan to prepare the Big Apple and its 520 miles of coastline for climate change impacts. She leads a cross-disciplinary team at Resiliency which uses a science-based approach in its analysis, policymaking, programs, and project development, as well as capacity building, the White House said.

Now, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere at the Department of Commerce, she has the monumental task of doing this at the national level.

Bavishi, 39, who lives in Brooklyn, NY, is originally from Charlotte, N.C. according reports on the Web.

When she was appointed to her post in NYC in January 2017,  Bavishi’s portfolio required implementing significant initiatives that included adapting buildings, improving infrastructure and upgrading the coastline. She has also been the Deputy Chief Resilience Officer as part of New York City’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Mayor de Blasio called Bavishi’s “nationally-recognized experience” exceptional.

“This is an incredibly important moment for city governments to play a pivotal leadership role in responding to and preparing for the impacts of changing climate. The de Blasio Administration continues to set the standard for inclusive and equitable climate action and I am excited to lead the Office of Recovery and Resiliency forward on behalf of this great city,” Bavishi said when taking up that post.

During her tenure at the Obama White House,Bavishi led the implementation of the climate preparedness pillar of the administration’s Climate Action Plan.

In all her previous positions (mentioned above by the Washington Post) – viz. Executive Director of R3ADY Asia-Pacific based in Honolulu; Director of External Affairs and Senior Policy Advisor at NOAA, Bavishi was seen as a leader of extraordinary talent.

She also founded the Equity and Inclusion Campaign at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation. The EIC is a coalition of community-based leaders in the Gulf Coast region focusing on recovery from the devastating hurricanes – Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike.

“Honored to be nominated by @POTUS to return to @NOAA to protect our oceans and coasts. Eager to speak with the Senate Commerce Committee about these important topics,” tweeted Bavishi July 28.

“Jainey’s been a terrific partner and will leave NYC far more resilient and fair thanks to her tireless work – our loss is America’s gain!” tweeted one of the respondents to her posts, Ben Furnas, director of the Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning, July 29.

“Jainey Bavishi is the person we need @NOAA! She will ensure that our coastal communities are resilient and the ocean is both protected & leveraged in the fight against #climatechange. Congrats, Jainey! #OceanClimateAction #ConfirmClimate” tweeted Susan Ruffo, director of International Initiatives at Ocean Conservancy.

“Great news for @NOAA and for coastal communities looking to address the ocean climate challenges ahead. Congrats @jaineytweets ! We look forward to working with you,” tweeted Jean Flemma, director of Ocean Defense Initiative.

Bavishi has a Masters degree in city planning from MIT, Massachusetts, and a Bachelors degree in public policy and cultural anthropology from Duke University, N.C.

Before attending Duke, Bavishi went to India to work on a campaign to start childcare centers in Orissa for families living below the poverty line.




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