Extreme heat

Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center names Kurt Shickman Director for Extreme Heat

Fri, Oct 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – September 21, 2021 – The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) names Kurt Shickman as their Director for Extreme Heat. As Director for Extreme Heat, Shickman will contribute to the team’s efforts to building human capacity for resilience in the face of climate change. Building upon the Center’s Extreme Heat program, he will bolster and renew their work to establish effective policies and solutions to combat the ever-increasing threat of rising global temperatures, focusing on urban areas. 

“I am incredibly excited and honored to join this team that is working tirelessly to build resilience to extreme heat for a healthier, fairer, and more prosperous future.”

Kurt Shickman

For the past ten years, Shickman has served as the Executive Director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA), a non-profit dedicated to accelerating the use of passive cooling solutions in urban and rural communities worldwide to enhance their resilience to extreme heat. As executive director, he oversaw creating and implementing multiple partnerships, networks, and technical toolkits to address extreme heat within numerous global settings. These initiatives include the Smart Surfaces Coalition, the Million Cool Roofs Challenge, and the Cool Roadways Partnership. 

Shickman also served as an expert to the Clean Energy Solutions Center and has advised and led projects for the U.S. Department of Energy, the World Bank, Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Clean Energy Ministerial. In addition to his time with GCCA, he served as the Director of Research Energy and Climate for the Energy Future Coalition within the United Nations Foundation and has written extensively on extreme heat and urban cooling. 

“Kurt is the best in the business! His leadership and impact-driven expertise in urban heat and resilience will be a game-changer for this urgent body of work. We are thrilled that he has joined Arsht-Rock to build on our efforts to protect people and communities from the impacts of extreme heat.”

Kathy Baughman McLeod

Shickman’s  appointment comes on the heels of a brutal Heat Season that hit the globe in waves this summer. He will lead the Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center’s flagship program, the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA). Founded in August 2020, the center has worked through EHRA to assemble a diverse group of experts to increase collective and individual resilience to extreme heat through education, policy, finance, and implementation solutions for one billion people around the globe. The goal of the alliance – consisting of over 40 member cities, organizations, elected officials, companies, scientists, and extreme-heat experts – is to protect lives and livelihoods from the dangers of extreme heat, focusing on the most vulnerable people and communities. It does so by:

  • Educating decision-makers linked to vulnerable communities about the risks and impacts of extreme heat by making data and risk assessment tools more widely available; 
  • Recommending and working to enact policies that help governments increase heat resilience in their communities; 
  • Providing better access to affordable financing solutions for heat reduction or protection, including extreme heat risk transfer products;
  • Quantifying the economic impacts of extreme heat to raise awareness and motivate action;
  • Implementing replicable, effective on-the-ground interventions for extreme heat reduction

The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center will reach one billion people with resilience solutions to climate change, migration, and security challenges by 2030. We will focus our efforts on individuals, communities, and a broad spectrum of governments and institutions to help them, and their constituencies and stakeholders, better prepare for, navigate, and recover from shocks and stresses. We will help build a more resilient world.