Kelly Klima

Photo of Kelly Klima
Engineer; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in engineering & public policy, Carnegie Mellon University; M.S. in earth, atmosphere, & planetary science, MIT; M.S. in aeronautics & astronautics, MIT; B.S. in mechanical engineering, Caltech

Media Resources

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Kelly Klima is associate program director of the Acquisition and Development Program (ADP) for the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC) and a research engineer at the RAND Corporation. She has over ten years of experience in quantitative and qualitative decision analysis for risk reduction. She is also an affiliate faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Recent work has focused on urban adaptation to reduce natural hazard risks. This includes theory and applications of (1) hazard and vulnerability assessments of hazards, and (2) behavioral and economic decisionmaking leading to plausible hazard mitigation and emergency management solutions. Other areas of expertise include climate and energy, energy and the environment, decisionmaking under uncertainty, and vulnerable populations.

Klima has published several journal articles and served on the American Geophysical Union (AGU) board of directors and the steering committee for the National Adaptation Forum. She also serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a summer associate mentor. She holds a CFM from the Association of State Floodplain Managers and a CCEA from the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association. She received her Ph.D. in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Selected Publications

Aviva Loew, Paulina Jaramillo, Haibo Zhai, Rahim Ali, Bart Nijssen, Yifan Cheng, and Kelly Klima, "Fossil fuel–fired power plant operations under a changing climate," Climatic Change, 163(1), 2020

Priscillia Hunt; Kelly Klima "The Measurement of Disaster Recovery Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis: An Application to Electric Power Restoration," in , Research in Mathematics and Public Policy., Springer, 2020

Diogo Prosdocimi; Kelly Klima, "Health Effects of Heat Vulnerability in Rio de Janeiro: A Validation Model for Policy Applications," SN Applied Sciences, 2(12), 2020

Kelly Klima; Lobna El Gammal; Weilong David Kong; Diogo Prosdocimi, "Creating a Water Risk Index to Improve Community Resilience," IBM Journal of Research and Development, 64(1/2), 2019

Roger Lueken; Kelly Klima; W. Michael Griffin; Jay Apt, "The climate and health effects of a USA switch from coal to gas electricity generation," Energy, 109, 2016

DeVynne Farquharson; Paulina Jaramillo; Greg Schivley; Kelly Klima; Derrick Carlson; Constantine Samaras, "Beyond global warming potential: a comparative application of climate impact metrics for the life cycle assessment of coal and natural gas based electricity," Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(4), 2017

Kelly Klima; Jay Apt, "Geographic smoothing of solar PV: results from Gujarat," Environmental Research Letters, 109(10), 2015

Kelly Klima; Jay Apt; Mahesh Bandi; Paul Happy; Clyde Loutan; Russell Young, "Geographic smoothing of solar photovoltaic electric power production in the Western USA," Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 10(5), 2018

Honors & Awards

  • Certified Floodplain Manager, Association of State Floodplain Managers
  • Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst, International Cost Estimating & Analysis Association


  • Flood waters inside the gymnasium at C.E. King High School following tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, September 8, 2017, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Counting the Costs: Improving Disaster Recovery Cost Estimation

    Estimating the cost of disasters is a complex process. Disaster recovery is complicated even further during this new era of COVID-19, when extra precautions must be taken. How can we estimate costs quickly and reliably, thus improving the flow of dollars back into the community?

    Sep 30, 2020 Natural Hazards Center