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Woods Hole, MA — Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the world’s independent leader in ocean discovery, exploration, and education, has welcomed Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna (Rama) as senior advisor to the President and Director on ocean and climate policy. Dr. Ramakrishna brings decades of climate work to this newly created position, with a goal of expanding WHOI’s visibility and impact on global ocean and climate policy issues.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rama to WHOI, where we are certain he will make an immediate impact, beginning with the upcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow,” said Peter de Menocal, WHOI’s president and director. “Rama’s vast experience makes him an important strategic partner as we continue to refine a roadmap that pairs our deep scientific and research strengths with climate solutions.”
Dr. Ramakrishna’s experience includes working with the United Nations in a variety of positions around the world. He was the Principal Policy Advisor to the Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, was the Head of the UN Secretariat’s office for East and Northeast Asia, and the UN’s Designated Official in South Korea. He was also head of the secretariat for North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), a comprehensive intergovernmental cooperation framework addressing environmental challenges in North-East Asia.
He helped draft the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most recently Dr. Ramakrishna concluded a three-year stint with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as part of its senior management team, Head of Strategic Planning, director (ai) of external affairs and senior advisor to the executive director.
Dr. Ramakrishna was also deeply involved in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change right from the time of its establishment as a Coordinating Lead Author, Lead Author, and Review Editor, both with its Special Reports and Assessments. While at UNEP he initiated the standard setting emissions gap analysis, now in its twelfth iteration. While working in South Korea, he led a study by all the UN Regional Economic Commissions on how to successfully incorporate the newly adopted sustainable development goals (SDGs) into their work programmes and support member countries in implementing and achieving them. While at GCF he co-authored the groundbreaking work on Covid-19 and climate finance.
Dr. Ramakrishna is an elected life member of the US Council on Foreign Relations and is a member of the board of directors of the Woodwell Climate Research Center. He is also the Chair of the Strategic Advisory Group of the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project. He holds B.Sc. and B.L degrees in sciences and law, and masters and PhD degrees in international law.
“We know that oceans are an integral part of our climate system, and it is time to make them an integral part of climate solutions. There is no better place to articulate this than from WHOI. I am thrilled to be back at WHOI and am looking forward connecting WHOI’s core scientific strength with climate solutions,” Dr. Ramakrishna concluded.