Rebecca A. French
Director of Community Engagement
Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation | Expertise: earth science, adaptation, resilience, decision making, science policy, community engagement, environmental chemistry, environmental policy and planning
Dr. French is the Director of Community Engagement for the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA). In this role, she develops relationships with community leaders in at risk communities, state policy makers and relevant state, local and regional organizations to translate the research products of CIRCA faculty and staff into usable information for these stakeholders and to solicit their input into the work of the Institute.
Previously Dr. French was a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Research and Development on the staff of the Chief Innovation Officer. She led initiatives on using innovative tools from crowdsourcing and citizen science to ideation to prizes to address the impacts of climate change and to improve air quality in communities. Dr. French also spent a year in Congress as a Congressional Science Fellow, sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, in the Office of US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). She served as a policy advisor to the Senator in the areas of energy, environment, and agriculture.
Dr. French is a proud native of northeast Connecticut and happy to be back in the state that her family has called home for many generations. She grew up in the “quiet corner” in Eastford, CT and attended Eastford Elementary School and Woodstock Academy.
Dr. French holds a Ph.D. in geosciences from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in soil science from Cornell University. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College in chemistry and environmental studies.