David G. Groves

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Adjunct Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.S. in atmospheric sciences, University of Washington; M.S. in earth systems, Stanford University; B.S. in geological and environmental sciences, Stanford University

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

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David Groves is an adjunct professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He was formerly a founding codirector of the RAND Climate Resilience Center and codirector of the RAND Center on Decision Making Under Uncertainty. He is a key developer of new methods for decisionmaking under deep uncertainty, and works directly with organizations worldwide to improve their planning for the uncertain future. He focuses on climate adaptation issues facing water resources and coastal planning agencies. He is also working with development banks to ensure that decarbonization plans in developing countries account for critical uncerainties.

Groves has worked with major water agencies throughout the United States, including the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California Department of Water Resources, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and Denver Water, helping them to address climate variability and change in their planning. He works domestically and internationally, most recently in Argentina, Peru, Mexico, and China.

Groves also works on coastal sustainability issues, most notably in the San Francisco Bay Delta, South Florida, and Coastal Louisiana. For example, he led the RAND team that developed the planning framework and decision support tool used to formulate Louisiana’s 50-year, $50 billion Coastal Master Plan. 

In 2009, he received RAND's Gold Medal Award for his work on water resources planning. In 2012, he received RAND's President's Choice Award for his work helping develop Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan. 

Groves received his Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Previous Positions

Codirector, RAND Climate Resilience Center (2015-2020)

Recent Projects

  • Benefits and Costs of Decarbonizing Costa Rica's Economy
  • Developing a planning framework and decision support tool for Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan
  • Developing a Robust Water Management Strategy for Monterrey, Mexico
  • San Francisco Bay Area Delta Levee Strategy Risk Analysis and Decision Support Tool
  • Evaluating South Florida's climate vulnerability and adaptation opportunities

Honors & Awards

  • President's Choice Award, RAND Corporation
  • Gold Medal Award, RAND Corporation
  • Silver Medal Award, RAND Corporation


  • A woman stands on a ruined building after Hurricane Eta, in Wawa Bar, a Miskito indigenous community in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, November 23, 2020, photo by Katlyn Holland/CRS /Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Previous Disasters Provide Important Lessons for Central America's Recovery from Hurricanes

    As the global community works to assist Central America in recovering from the disastrous 2020 hurricane season, other recent recovery efforts offer helpful lessons, both for the governments of the region as well as outsiders providing resources and support.

    Jan 11, 2021 The National Interest

  • A TV reporter wearing a mask, photo by brightstars/Getty Images

    Don't Make the Pandemic Worse with Poor Data Analysis

    The need for immediate answers in the face of severe public health and economic distress may create a temptation to relax statistical standards. But urgency should not preclude expert analysis and honest assessments of uncertainty. Mistaken assumptions could lead to counterproductive actions.

    May 6, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • The coastline in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru

    Ensuring Robust Water Management Strategies in Lima-Callão, Peru

    Water resource agencies around the world are grappling with how to make smart investments to ensure long-term water reliability at a time of unprecedented water stress, growing demands, uncertain climate change, and limited budgets.

    Nov 16, 2015 The World Bank Water Blog

  • 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

  • Sunset over New Orleans and the Mississippi River

    Bringing Sustainability to the Louisiana Coast

    Policy Researcher David Groves describes RAND's role in helping to develop a plan to guide Louisiana's coastal investments, help its coastal citizens plan for the future, and create a sustainable coast.

    Jun 7, 2012