The Climate and Economic Transformation program brings together scholars, activists, and policymakers committed to solving the biggest challenge of our time: addressing the climate crisis in a transformational, equitable, and democratic manner. The US response to climate change thus far has been piecemeal and centered on neoliberal, market-based “solutions” that cannot meet the scale of the crisis. These neoliberal climate policies typically fail to consider distributive and procedural justice for communities of color historically harmed by the fossil fuel economy. Through this program’s two work streams—Climate Policy and Industrial Policy & Trade—we advance a wide-ranging theory and practice of a holistic green transition away from neoliberalism.   

Our Climate Policy work seeks to develop proactive investment and divestment approaches to a transition away from fossil fuels—emphasizing the crucial role of public intervention and public institutions in ensuring the transition is both equitable, orderly, and just. Our work foregrounds policies and paradigms that seek to both acknowledge and repair past racist and discriminatory policies that have harmed Black, brown, and Indigenous communities and systemically placed them on the frontlines of climate disaster. We undertake this work in meaningful collaboration with movement activists, climate advocates, and think tank partners.

Our Industrial Policy & Trade work seeks to build a theory and practice of a distinctly American industrial policy—one that is democratically and effectively governed and financed, with the objective of reshaping industries with guardrails that advance equitable labor, environmental imperatives, corporate governance, and racial equity outcomes. The shift to an openly acknowledged industrial policy in turn requires rethinking the long-dominant neoliberal approach to trade policy.

Climate and Economic Transformation Staff

Rhiana Gunn-Wright

Director, Climate Policy

As Roosevelt’s Director of Climate Policy, Rhiana Gunn-Wright leads research at the intersection of climate policy, public investment, public power, and racial equity.

Todd Tucker

Director, Industrial Policy and Trade

As Director of Industrial Policy and Trade, Dr. Tucker, a political scientist, helps lead Roosevelt’s work on the role of governance and institutions (both national and international) in facilitating economic transformation.

Lew Daly

Deputy Director, Climate Policy

As Deputy Director of Climate Policy, Lew supports the Climate and Economic Transformation program (CET) at the Roosevelt Institute, working at the intersection of climate policy, public investment, and racial equity.

Isabel Estevez

Deputy Director, Industrial Policy and Trade

As Deputy Director of Industrial Policy and Trade, Isabel Estevez conducts research at the intersection of industrial and trade policy, with a focus on the transformation and decarbonization of heavy industries, such as steel and aluminum.

Kristina Karlsson

Program Manager, Climate and Economic Transformation

As the Program Manager for the Climate and Economic Transformation program at the Roosevelt Institute, Kristina Karlsson supports the think tank’s work on climate, public power, and the ways that government can catalyze large-scale economic change.