Staff and Board: Heather Cooley

Water Program Director

Heather Cooley is Director of the Pacific Institute’s Water Program. She conducts and oversees research on an array of water issues, such as the connections between water and energy, sustainable water use and management, and the hydrologic impacts of climate change.  As a Pacific Institute staff member, Ms. Cooley has authored numerous scientific papers and co-authored five books, including The World’s WaterA 21st Century U.S. Water Policy, and The Water-Energy Nexus in the American West.

Ms. Cooley has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Award for Outstanding Achievement (for her work on agricultural water conservation and efficiency) and her work was recognized when the Pacific Institute received the first U.S. Water Prize in 2011. She has testified before the U.S. Congress on the impacts of climate change for agriculture and on innovative approaches to solving water problems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Ms. Cooley holds a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology and an M.S. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the Pacific Institute, she worked at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory studying climate and land use change and carbon cycling. Ms. Cooley currently serves on the Board of the California Urban Water Conservation Council.