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Newsha Ajami

Former Director of Urban Water Policy, Water in the West
Former Senior Research Scholar, Woods Institute for the Environment
Newsha Ajami

Newsha K. Ajami served as director of Urban Water Policy with Stanford University’s Water in the West program from 2013-2022. In January of 2022 she took a new position as Chief Strategy and Development Officer for Research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Ajami specializes in sustainable water resource management, water policy, innovation, and financing, and the water-energy-food nexus. Her research throughout the years has been interdisciplinary and impact driven, focusing on the improvement of the science-policy-stakeholder interface by incorporating social and economic measures and effective communication.

Dr. Ajami is a gubernatorial appointee to the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board. Before joining Stanford, she worked as a senior research associate at the Pacific Institute, and served as a Science and Technology fellow at the California State Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee where she worked on various water and energy related legislation. She has published many highly cited peer-reviewed articles, coauthored two books, and contributed opinion pieces to the New York Times and the Sacramento Bee. She was the recipient of the 2005 National Science Foundation award for AMS Science and Policy Colloquium and ICSC-World Laboratory Hydrologic Science and Water Resources Fellowship from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Ajami received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the UC, Irvine, an M.S. in hydrology and water resources from the University of Arizona.

As part of her ongoing collaborations with the Bill Lane Center, Dr. Ajami works on modernizing permitting processes for innovative and multi purpose water projects and water-energy-climate interlinks at the California, Baja-California boarder.