Noreen Clancy

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Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, RAND Pardee Graduate School; Associate Research Department Director, Global Research Talent Operations
Washington Office


M.S. in environmental science and policy, The Johns Hopkins University; B.A. in criminology and law, University of Florida

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Noreen Clancy is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. She has two primary areas of research: resilience from natural disasters and issues facing the financial services sector.

Her natural disaster work includes issues related to flooding and flood insurance and the equitable distribution of pre- and post-disaster funding. Most recently, she has studied post-disaster events and the right balance of risk-sharing across federal, state, and local governments. She has also explored the extent to which the public sector can transfer some of that risk to the private sector in the form of insurance or other financial instruments such as catastrophe bonds. In her current work, she is helping FEMA think about how best to incorporate issues of risk and equity into its mitigation grant program for communities (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities). In her past work she contributed to the long-term recovery plan for Puerto Rico, specifically addressing housing recovery efforts. After Hurricane Sandy, she assessed the risks of flooding in New York City, the implications of an expanded flood map, and the rising cost of flood insurance, and developed policy options for providing assistance to homeowners who will have trouble affording the higher premiums. She was also co-PI of a grant in the Gulf of Mexico examining the community resilience attributes of areas heavily impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Regarding financial services, her two prime interests relate to the legal and regulatory challenges posed by cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies and issues dubbed Green Swans. Green Swans are climate related risks (physical and transition risks) that have the potential to be extremely financially disruptive. Her earlier financial services research included coauthoring a study of hedge funds and systemic risk, examining the regulatory structure of Broker Dealers and Investment Advisors for the SEC and evaluating how assets are valued (historical cost vs. mark-to-market accounting) and whether that led to risk accumulation problems or market distortion during the financial crisis.

Prior to joining RAND, Clancy worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. She holds an M.S. in environmental science and policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Selected Publications

Clancy, N., M. Finucane, J. Fischbach, D. Groves, D. Knopman, K.V. Patel, L. Dixon, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Mitigation Grant Program: Incorporating Hazard Risk and Social Equity into Decision Processes, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (RR-A1258-1-DHS), 2021 (forthcoming)

Dixon, L., J.T. Barnosky and N. Clancy, Insuring Public Buildings, Contents, Vehicles and Equipment Against Disasters, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (RR-A332-1-DHS), 2020

Finucane, M.L., M. Blum, R. Ramchand, A.M. Parker, S. Nataraj, N. Clancy, G. Cecchine, A. Chandra, T. Slack, G. Hobor, R. Ferreira, K. Luu, A. Lesen & C. Bond, " Advancing community resilience research and practice: moving from "me" to "we" to "3D.”," Journal of Risk Research, 23(1), 2020

Miller, B., L. Dixon and N. Clancy, "Reasonable and Risk Based? Replacing NFIP Generally Subsidized Rates with a Means-Tested Subsidy," Southern Economic Journal, 85(4), 2020

Clancy, N., L. Dixon, D. Elinoff, K. Kuznitsky, S. McKenna, Modernizing Puerto Rico’s Housing Sector Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria: Post Storm Challenges and Potential Courses of Action., RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (RR-2602-DHS), 2020

Dixon, L. and N. Clancy, The Cost and Affordability of Flood Insurance in New York City: Economic Impacts of Rising Premiums and Policy Options for One- to Four-Family Homes, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (RR-1776-NYCEDC), 2017

Hung, A., N. Clancy, J. Dominitz "Investor Knowledge and Experience with Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers," in ed. Olivia S. Mitchell and Annamaria Lusardi, Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace, Oxford University Press, 2011


  • Two cars after they were destroyed by a tornado in Washington, Illinois, November 19, 2013

    Creating the Right Incentives for State and Local Governments to Reduce Disaster Costs

    In the United States, federal, state, and local governments share responsibility for paying for losses from disasters. As the frequency and severity of disasters has increased, so have the losses. It's worth considering whether the current risk-sharing approach is appropriate.

    Oct 14, 2020 The Hill

  • Houses are seen partially submerged in flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in Northwest Houston, Texas, August 30, 2017

    Why Houstonians Didn't Buy Flood Insurance

    Thousands of Houston-area homeowners will face massive, uninsured losses due to flood damage. Few homeowners buy flood insurance unless they are required to, and it's only mandatory for homes with mortgages located in FEMA-defined high-risk flood zones. People tend to ignore low-probability risks.

    Sep 12, 2017 The RAND Blog

  • An ocean gas rig emits plumes of smoke

    Global Methane Initiative: Converting Harmful Emissions to Usable Energy

    Carbon dioxide has garnered the most attention in the climate change debate because it accounts for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. But there is good reason to worry about methane, say Nicholas Burger and Noreen Clancy.

    Feb 6, 2013 The RAND Blog