Press Releases

Jordan Fischbach joins The Water Institute of the Gulf as the Director of Planning and Policy Research

Feb 18, 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. (Feb. 18, 2021) – Jordan Fischbach, Ph.D., senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, will join the institute on March 29 as the Director of Planning and Policy Research.

“Jordan has been at the cutting edge of so many important climate adaptation, urban resilience, and planning efforts across the country including leading development of the Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment (CLARA) model for the state’s coastal program,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, the Water Institute president and CEO. “The Institute is thrilled to welcome such an accomplished and collaborative expert to our growing team.”

Before joining the Water Institute, Fischbach was codirector of the RAND Climate Resilience Center, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, and an affiliate faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Since 2010, Fischbach has led RAND research focused on climate adaptation, urban resilience, water resources management, coastal planning, and post-disaster recovery.

For the past 10 years, Fischbach has been the principal investigator for the CLARA modeling effort, which provides next-level modeling capabilities for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to efficiently estimate flood risk under a wide range of future environmental, operational, and growth uncertainties, and with various proposed projects in place.

He also serves as a co-investigator for the NOAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA) center, which has the goal to support the effective utilization of climate science and the building of adaptive capacity and resilience to climate variability and change in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“I’ve been working in the areas of water resources, climate adaptation, disaster recovery, and disaster mitigation,” Fischbach said. “I’ve known about and worked with people at the Institute since it started. I’m particularly excited about the Institute’s growing diversity of projects and I’d love to expand the work on urban stormwater management and infrastructure planning.”

Fischbach led a series of projects supporting resilience planning and improved stormwater management in Pittsburgh, Pa. since 2015 with a focus on evaluating the benefits and costs of green stormwater infrastructure. He previously led studies focused on estimating damage and needs after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, urban water quality management under uncertainty in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and future climate impacts and coastal resilience options in New York City after Hurricane Sandy.

Fischbach earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in history from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School in 2010 where he was awarded the Herbert Goldhamer Memorial Award.

Fischbach lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two children.

About The Water Institute of the Gulf

The Water Institute is an independent, non-profit, applied research institution advancing science and developing integrated methods to solve complex environmental and societal challenges. The Institute helps communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. For more information, visit