WASHINGTON (May 11, 2022) —World Resources Institute expert Anjali Mahendra has been appointed to the first U.S. Climate Security Roundtable, a new effort established by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine at the direction of the U.S. Congress. Mahendra, director of global research at WRI’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, is a globally recognized expert on urban land use, transport, and climate policies.

The Roundtable convenes experts from academia, the private sector and civil society to provide support to the Climate Security Advisory Council (CSAC). The CSAC is a partnership between the U.S. Intelligence Community and the federal science community to better understand and anticipate the ways that climate change affects U.S. national security.

Mahendra was selected for the appointment due to her deep understanding of urbanization issues and their implications for climate action and international development. Along with other Roundtable experts, Mahendra will help the CSAC understand how climate change contributes to societal conditions such as human vulnerability, demographic change and political instability that could increase security risks.

“Anjali Mahendra is one of the world’s leading urban experts and the U.S. government can benefit immensely from her expertise,” said Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute. “Climate change and water risk are deeply destabilizing forces that can drive conflict, and at the same time affect U.S. military infrastructure and operations, strategic interests, and development assistance in other countries. As the world rapidly urbanizes while climate impacts worsen, it is critical that we explore the linkages between climate risks, cities, inequities and peace.”

Mahendra’s research focuses on how cities, especially in low-income countries, can manage urban growth for equitable access to core services and infrastructure, and more resource-efficient economic and environmental outcomes. She leads the cities research agenda at WRI, and is lead author of the flagship World Resources Report series, Towards a More Equal City.

“I am deeply honored at the opportunity to support the Climate Security Roundtable and look forward to bringing insights not only from WRI’s extensive work on sustainable cities but also our other programs on food and land use, forests, water, energy, and climate,” said Mahendra. “The world is rapidly urbanizing, yet in many regions, the nature of this urbanization is exacerbating inequities and making people more vulnerable to climate impacts. We cannot ensure climate security without focusing on cities and the vulnerable people within them, as well as the interface between urban and natural areas around the world.”

Prior to WRI, Anjali led projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), U.S. state and local agencies, and international organizations as a senior consultant at ICF International and the World Bank.

Mahendra is serving in the role in an individual capacity. Her appointment is for a three-year term.


About World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that spans more than 60 countries, with international offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, regional offices in Ethiopia (for Africa) and the Netherlands (for Europe), and program offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Our more than 1,600 experts and staff turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. More information at www.wri.org or on Twitter @WorldResources.