Overview of the Climate Action Advisory Committee

President Rafael Reif charged Vice President for Research Maria Zuber with leading the implementation of MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change. Vice President Zuber established the Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC) in 2006 to consult with and advise her on the implementation and ongoing assessment of the Plan for Action. Vice President Zuber chairs the CAAC.


The role of the CAAC is to advise Vice President Zuber in order to help ensure the successful implementation of MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change, including advising on MIT’s efforts to engage with government, industry, academia, and the public to help accelerate solutions to the urgent problem of global climate change. Specifically, the CAAC will:

  • Provide advice to identify, develop, and publish strategies and benchmarks for engaging government, industry, academia, and the public in accelerating solutions to global climate change. (Benchmarks will include inputs and activities, such as number of meetings held, in addition to outcomes aligned with a 2°C future: for example, these may include steps taken by industry to develop and implement 2°C business strategies and to support a 2°C public policy framework.)
  • Provide advice and input on an annual report to be produced by the Office of the Vice President for Research to assess MIT’s progress in implementing the Plan for Action and engagement partners’ response to the climate challenge.
  • Assist in identifying ways to engage the broader MIT community on climate action and bring the ideas and perspectives of different MIT constituencies to bear on the implementation of the Plan for Action. 
  • Respond to issues referred to the Committee by Vice President Zuber.

Membership (updated for 2018-2019)

Vice President Zuber will appoint members of the CAAC and may fill vacancies as they occur. She will seek membership that is broadly representative of MIT community constituencies, including representatives of all five Schools, administrators, faculty, postdocs, staff, students, Corporation members, and alumni. Students, postdoctoral fellows/associates, and alumni will serve one-year terms, with opportunities for reappointment.


  • Vice President for Research Maria Zuber


  • Director or designee, Center for Global Change Science
  • Director or designee, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research
  • Principal investigator or designee, Climate CoLab
  • Director or designee, Environmental Solutions Initiative
  • Co-director or designee, Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
  • Director or designee, MIT Energy Initiative
  • Director or designee, MIT Office of Sustainability
  • Faculty director or designee, Sloan Sustainability Initiative
  • Representative, Lincoln Laboratory
  • Three students
  • One postdoctoral fellow/associate
  • One alum
  • One additional faculty member
  • One additional staff member
  • Interested members of the MIT Corporation

Committee Staff

  • Senior Advisor to the Vice President for Research


Vice President Zuber intends to convene the CAAC once per month during the spring and fall semesters at a time and place convenient for its members. All members will be notified in advance of meetings. The CAAC will create and appoint such subcommittees as it deems necessary to carry out specific aspects of its charge. The CAAC is an advisory body, not a rulemaking or governing body, and accordingly it is expected to make recommendations by consensus rather than by voting. 



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