RELEASE: Jennifer Wilcox to Lead Carbon Dioxide Removal as WRI Senior Fellow
World Resources Institute is pleased to welcome Jennifer Wilcox as a new Senior Fellow with WRI’s U.S. Climate program.
As a WRI Senior Fellow, Wilcox will spearhead efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the industrial sector and technological CO2 removal solutions, such as direct air capture and mineralization. Her expertise will help accelerate policy support and investments in research, development and deployment of carbon removal solutions in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
“I’m thrilled that Jen Wilcox is bringing her expertise and leadership to WRI’s growing efforts to promote carbon removal and industrial decarbonization,” said Dan Lashof, Director of WRI United States. “To prevent the worst impacts of global warming, the world needs to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century and that means we need to drastically reduce emissions from all sectors and scale-up new technologies for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Jen’s deep understanding of both the problem and the solutions will be invaluable to governments at all levels as well as companies committed to science-based emission reduction targets.”
Wilcox is an internationally renowned technological carbon removal specialist, chemical engineer and academic whose research takes aim at the nexus of energy and the environment, developing both mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimize negative climate impacts associated with society's dependence on fossil fuels. She is currently a James H. Manning Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This fall, Wilcox will start a new position as a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity to join the WRI team and look forward to leveraging my technical expertise in carbon capture to have broader implications toward policy,” said Wilcox. “By joining WRI, I look forward to communicating the science and technology of carbon capture to a broader audience. It’s my hope that our collective expertise will lead to increased deployment of deep decarbonization and carbon removal projects, both of which will be required to meeting our climate goals.”
Wilcox has served on several committees including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society to assess carbon capture methods and impacts on climate. She is the author of the first textbook on carbon capture, published in 2012. She also gave a TED talk on the Main Stage in April 2018 on Direct Air Capture.
“The latest science tells us that we can’t take our foot off the pedal on reducing emissions, and at the same time, we need to explore options for investing in carbon removal,” said Kelly Levin, Senior Associate, WRI Climate program. “The next decade will be a critical one for ramping up carbon removal to ensure that it can operate at scale so we can meet our climate goals. Jen’s breadth of knowledge and leadership on carbon removal will be a tremendous asset for WRI in advancing solutions the world needs.”
Wilcox has a master's degree in physical chemistry and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona.
Having grown up in rural Maine, she has a profound respect and appreciation of nature, which permeates her work. Wilcox will be based in Philadelphia, PA, moving from Worcester, MA, where she has lived since 2018 with her husband and daughter.
WRI’s U.S. program is focused on addressing climate change, carbon dioxide removal, clean electricity, renewable energy and electric vehicles through policy innovation and stakeholder engagement.