Esther Conrad works with the Bill Lane Center’s faculty director to manage the Center’s research programs. She coordinates and contributes to group research projects, liaises with research partners, manages student researchers and postdoctoral scholars, and runs the AmerWest seminar series.
Esther has worked for over 20 years in the environmental field, with a focus on environmental policy and governance in the context of water and climate change adaptation. During her PhD studies at UC Berkeley and postdoctoral fellowship at the Water in the West Program at Stanford, Esther conducted research on water governance and climate change adaptation in California. She has analyzed patterns of cross-jurisdictional collaboration among local government agencies to work toward and equitable water management, and the role of state laws, such as California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the Integrated Regional Water Management Act, in incentivizing collaboration.
Previously, Esther worked at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, where she collaborated with faculty and partner organizations to design academic courses that engage students in addressing real-world sustainability challenges. She also led the design and launch of the Haas Center’s Partnerships for Climate Justice in the Bay Area initiative. Prior to her PhD, Esther worked at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, managing interdisciplinary research projects to support the use of climate forecasts for water management and agriculture in South and Southeast Asia. She has worked at the United Nations Development Programme, and on policy advocacy for the rights of asylum seekers and detained immigrants in the United States.