Jordan R. Fischbach

Photo of Jordan Fischbach
Senior Policy Researcher
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; B.A. in history, Columbia University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Jordan R. Fischbach (he/him) is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and an affiliate faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He codirected the RAND Climate Resilience Center from 2015 to 2020, and his research focuses on climate adaptation, urban resilience, water resources management, coastal planning, and post-disaster recovery.

He is currently a co-investigator for the NOAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA) center. Since 2010, he has been the principal investigator for flood risk and damage assessment using the Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment (CLARA) model in support of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and he currently leads projects supporting resilience planning and improved stormwater management in Pittsburgh. Fischbach served as quality assurance manager for the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), operated by the RAND Corporation, from 2019 to 2020. He also recently served on a National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel investigating long-term coastal zone dynamics on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and currently serves on its Water Science and Technology Board.

Fischbach earned a B.A. with honors in history from Columbia University in 2001 and a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School in 2010, where he was awarded the Herbert Goldhamer Memorial Award. He was awarded a Bronze Medal in 2018 and a President's Choice award at RAND in 2012.

Recent Projects

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA) Center
  • Resilient Stormwater Management in Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Region
  • Applying the Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment (CLARA) Model to Support Louisiana Coastal Planning
  • Developing the City of Pittsburgh’s Resilience Strategy
  • Integrated Analysis and Planning to Reduce Coastal Risk, Improve Water Quality, and Restore Ecosystems in Jamaica Bay, New York

Honors & Awards

  • President's Choice Award, RAND Corporation
  • Bronze Medal Award, RAND Corporation
  • Herbert Goldhamer Memorial Award, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: City Channel Pittsburgh; KDKA-TV; WPSU-TV - Penn State University


  • Parker Dam impounds Colorado River water into Lake Havasu, where it is pumped into the Colorado Aqueduct for delivery to Southern California, April 16, 2015.

    How Should Water Professionals Invest in Resilience?

    Water professionals can think about building resilience as a process of embracing and managing future uncertainty. Rather than trying to predict which problem to plan for, researchers help planners consider a wide range of potential scenarios.

    Jul 12, 2017 The Source

  • Filling up a glass with water from a kitchen faucet

    Getting the Lead Out of Pittsburgh's Water

    Without an aggressive long-term strategy for replacing service lines, and collaboration among the water authority, public officials, and residents, lead in Pittsburgh's water will persist.

    Jul 3, 2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • The Eiffel Tower is seen in front of the Sacre Coeur Basilica on Montmartre in Paris, France, during the 2015 World Climate Change Conference

    The Big Bet: Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement

    America's formal withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement could have far-reaching consequences for U.S. global leadership on many issues, not just on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Jun 2, 2017 Inside Sources

  • Environmentalists hold a banner which reads in part, "For the Climate," near the Eiffel Tower during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

    COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    Negotiators in Paris achieved a historic breakthrough by adopting a fundamentally different, and likely more effective, institutional framework to address climate change. It builds on two concepts missing from past attempts to forge a global treaty: voluntary participation and adaptive policymaking.

    Dec 17, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Flood waters from Hurricane Isaac partially submerge homes in Lafitte, Louisiana neighborhoods in August 2012

    Future of Coastal Flooding

    President Obama's executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels as they construct new projects in flood-prone regions will affect hundreds of billions of dollars of future public works projects. In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project, taking into account everything from the details of the local landscape to the potential for adaptive responses over time.

    Feb 25, 2015 The Hill

  • Jordan Fischbach

    In Brief: Jordan R. Fischbach on Adapting to Climate Change on the Coast

    Jordan Fischbach discusses how RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

    Feb 6, 2013

  • Navajo Bridge over Colorado River

    New Colorado River Basin Study Examines Tremendous Challenges of the Coming 50 Years

    Growing water needs combined with uncertain but possibly deteriorating future hydrologic conditions could stress the Colorado River system in the coming 50 years.

    Dec 18, 2012

  • Morris Canal Park in New York City with portions flooded by Sandy's storm surge, at high tide.

    What Louisiana Can Teach New York and New Jersey

    The massive damage and disruption caused by “Super Storm” Sandy has created a rare moment when New York City, New Jersey and surrounding areas are singularly focused on the infrastructure they need in a changing environment – not just the infrastructure they already have thanks to the vision and investments of past generations.

    Nov 8, 2012 CNN

  • Aerial photos of New Jersey coastline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

    In Wake of Hurricane Sandy, Look to Louisiana for Lessons

    Just as public agencies across the country conducted terrorism risk assessments in the wake of 9/11, a comprehensive infrastructure assessment may be in order to understand natural hazard risks and the potential exacerbating effects of climate change, write Gary Cecchine, David Groves, and Jordan Fischbach.

    Nov 1, 2012 The RAND Blog

  • USACE New Orleans District Mississippi River Tie-In

    Has the Gulf Coast Learned Katrina's Lessons in Time for Isaac?

    Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, it's clear that New Orleans and other cities along the Gulf Coast are applying what they learned then in preparation for Hurricane Isaac, write Gary Cecchine and Jordan R. Fischbach.

    Aug 29, 2012 U.S. News & World Report