Nancy Kete

Former Managing Director

Nancy Kete joined the Rockefeller Foundation in January 2012. As Managing Director, Dr. Kete led the Foundation’s global work on resilience including developing strategies and practice for infusing resilience thinking throughout the foundation’s work.

During her 25 year career in government, civil society, and private sector, Dr. Kete brought technical, institutional, and managerial leadership to bear on a number of major environment and societal challenges. She has been a diplomat, a climate change negotiator, a social entrepreneur, and a highly successful fund-raiser.

Before joining the Foundation, Dr. Kete spent thirteen years at the World Resources Institute (WRI), first as Director of the Climate, Energy, and Pollution Program and then as founder and Director of EMBARQ, a distinguished program that catalyzed environmentally sustainable transport solutions to improve quality of life in cities in Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and the Andean region.

She also served on President Obama’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. In her role as Senior Advisor on Corporate Safety and Risk Management, Dr. Kete provided recommendations on unilateral steps the industry should take to improve safety above and beyond what the regulations would require.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Kete worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency where she led the development of the acid rain control title of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the first and as yet most successful application of market instruments for pollution control.

Dr. Kete holds a PhD in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s in Geography from Southern Illinois University.

Authored Content

  • Apr 24 2015
    Blog Post Accelerating the Pace of Social Change At the same time as the Skoll World Forum last week, nearly one hundred marine conservation practitioners were coming together in Cancun, Mexico at the invitation of Blue Solutions, to learn about each other’s work and discover how to adapt what’s already working to new challenges. Similarly, in Portland, Oregon, USA, students and guests of the Pacific Northwest […] Astrid Scholz, Ann Nancy Kete
  • Apr 09 2015
    Blog Post The Resilient Mile When I was growing up in suburban New Jersey, Hoboken was the Miracle Mile. It was known for having a bar on every corner and being the birthplace of Frank Sinatra. As a teen you traveled through Hoboken sitting on the rattan seats of the Erie Lackawanna then quickly transferred to the Path Train in […] Ann Nancy Kete
  • Dec 03 2014
    Blog Post Does Your Community Need Its Own Resilience Champion? People should pay attention to today’s statement from the White House, announcing its first cohort of “Climate Action Champions,” 16 cities, counties, and tribal communities whose work to identify and reduce their climate vulnerabilities places them at the cutting edge of resilience thinking and implementation. The broad and diverse range of communities from across the […] Ann Nancy Kete
  • Sep 22 2014
    Blog Post Changing Course: Navigating the Future of the Lower Mississippi River Delta Daniel Burnham, the great designer and builder of cities from the early 20th century is famously quoted as saying: “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.” As goes for cities, the same also holds for other large landscapes where little plans and partial […] Ann Nancy Kete
  • Sep 17 2014
    Report How to Build a Resilient City The City Resilience Framework provides a lens through which the complexity of cities and the drivers that contribute to a city’s resilience can be understood. The 12 capacities in the 100RC City Resilience Framework collectively determine its ability a city’s resilience to a wide range of shocks and stresses. Ann Nancy Kete