A New Hampshire native is among the folks bringing climate change expertise to the White House after a four-year absence, and she’s a different sort of climate expert, according to E&E News.
Her appointment signals a new approach to climate policy under President Biden. Where past presidents have turned to economists and officials with backgrounds in the energy industry, Jane Flegal is a scholar of science, technology and society. STS scholars, as they are often known, study how society shapes science.
Traditionally, policymakers approach climate challenges by asking for the optimal technological and economic solution. STS scholars, by contrast, ask what type of technological solutions are needed to meet societal goals while being supported by the public. The approach has the advantage of maximizing technological benefits and reducing political opposition, she said.
Jane Flegal grew up in Nashua. She was recently part of a summer course held (remotely, alas) by St Paul’s School in Concord, as the Monitor reported.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and spent three years at the Bipartisan Policy Center as a senior policy analyst before heading to UC Berkeley, where her doctoral dissertation was about solar geoengineering. She has worked at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust and Hewlett Foundation. She is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University.