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

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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. Klima's research work supports community resilience for extreme heat and flooding throughout the world, and has been applied in the City of Pittsburgh, City of St. Paul, counties in New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Other areas of expertise include decisionmaking under uncertainty, energy and the environment, 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

Klima, K.; Apt, J.; Bandi, M.; Happy, P.; Loutan, C.; Young, R., "Geographic smoothing of solar photovoltaic electric power production," Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 10(053504), 2018

Pozzi, M.; Memerzadeh, M.; Klima, "Hidden-model processes for adaptive management under uncertain climate change," Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 2017 (forthcoming)

Wong-Parodi, G.; Klima, K., "Preparing for local adaptation: A study of community understanding and support.," Climatic Change, 145(3-4), 2017

Dreyer, P.; Jones, T.; Klima, K.; Oberholtzer, J.; Strong, A.; Welburn, J.; Winkelman, Z., Estimating the Global Cost of Cyber Risk: Methodology and Examples, RAND (RR-2299), 2018

Craig, M.; Jaramillo, P.; Zhai, H.; Klima, K, "The Economic Merits of Flexible Carbon Capture and Sequestration as a Compliance Strategy with the Clean Power Plan," Environmental Science & Technology, 2016

Malings, C.; Pozzi, M.; Klima, K.; Bou-Zeid, E.; Ramamurthy, P.; Berges, M., "Surface Heat Assessment for Developed Environments: Optimizing Urban Temperature Monitoring.," Building and Environment, 141, 2018

Bradford, K.; Abrahams, L.; Hegglin, M.; Klima, K, "A Heat Vulnerability Index and Adaptation Solutions for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania," Environmental Science & Technology, 49(19), 2015

Klima, K.; Apt, J, "Geographic smoothing of solar PV: Results from Gujarat," Environmental Research Letters, 10(10), 2015

Honors & Awards

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