Laura Lightbody directs two of Pew’s projects to improve community resilience to natural disasters and accelerate the transition to renewable energy by advocating for federal and state policy change. The energy modernization project advances the transition to electric vehicles and a clean, reliable electric grid and the expansion of renewable energy solutions such as offshore wind. The flood-prepared communities project works to reduce the impact of flood-related disasters on taxpayers, communities, and the environment.
Lightbody’s work has supported the passage of important reforms that include securing significant levels of mitigation funding, creating a new program in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that funds resilient transportation projects, developing a new insurance pricing model at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and improving rebuilding requirements for federal buildings and infrastructure. She has built a national network of state chief resilience officers to support state-level resilience planning and programming. This work included advocacy that helped secure more than $1.7 billion in new funding toward climate mitigation and nature-based solutions.
Before joining Pew, Lightbody was a vice president at a consulting firm where she designed policy campaigns and regulatory strategies for nonprofit and corporate clients in areas including ocean services and economics, clean energy incentives, corporate sustainability, and pro-innovation policy. Her advocacy influenced major legislation related to Superstorm Sandy disaster relief, the Deepwater Horizon spill, toxic chemicals management reform, and the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. In 2007, she played a critical role in the passage of the first increase in federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in more than 30 years.
Lightbody has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and is regularly quoted by national media, including in articles from The New York Times, The Associated Press, and Bloomberg. She has also contributed to books, podcasts, and several academic articles and reports by nongovernmental organizations and has written op-ed columns and research reports on clean energy and adaptation. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.
Lightbody holds bachelor’s degrees in history and Spanish from the University of Michigan.