Newsha K. Ajami

Newsha K. Ajami

Chief Strategic Development Officer for Research in the Earth & Environmental Sciences

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Newsha K. Ajami is the Chief Strategic Development Officer for Research in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. A leading expert in sustainable water resource management, smart cities, and the water-energy-food nexus, in her role at LBL, she is focused on developing and leading interdisciplinary and impact-focused research initiatives at the nexus of water, energy, and climate.

Dr. Ajami was a two-term gubernatorial appointee to the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board and is currently a mayoral appointee to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She is a member of the National Academies Board on Water Science and Technology and serves as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Dr. Ajami also serves on several state-level and national advisory boards. Before joining LBL she served as the founding director of the Stanford Urban Water Policy program and a senior research scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Earlier in her career, she also served as a Science and Technology fellow at the California State Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee where she worked on various water and energy-related legislation.

She has published many highly cited peer-reviewed articles, co-authored two books, and contributed opinion pieces to the New York Times, San Jose Mercury, and the Sacramento Bee. Dr. Ajami received her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the UC, Irvine, an M.S. in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Amir Kabir University of Technology in Tehran.