Newsha Ajami, Ph.D., is Director of Urban Water Policy with the Water in the West and NSF-ReNUWIt initiatives. She serves as a member of the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board. She is a hydrologist specializing in sustainable water resource management, flood and water supply forecasting, and advancing uncertainty assessment techniques impacting hydrological predictions. Her research throughout the years has been interdisciplinary and impact-driven, focusing on the improvement of the science-policy-stakeholder interface by incorporating social and economic measures and relevant and effective communication.
She worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Pacific Institute from 2011-2013. Prior to that, Ajami 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 and as a post doctorate researcher with the Berkeley Water Center, U.C. Berkeley, focusing on improving the management of California’s water resources by developing an integrated operational platform encouraging collaboration between engineers, economists, and operational agencies.
Ajami has published many highly cited peer-reviewed papers in prominent journals, and was the recipient of 2005 NSF award for AMS Science and Policy Colloquium and ICSC-World Laboratory Hydrologic Science and Water Resources Fellowship from 2000-2003. Ajami received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Irvine, an M.S. in hydrology and water resources from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from Tehran Polytechnic.
In her position at Water in the West, Ajami focuses on bridging the gap between science and policy by crafting a research agenda that will seamlessly integrate hard science and soft science (social sciences and economics) to improve urban water resource management. She will also be leading the water/energy nexus program at Water in the West.