A multidisciplinary approach to climate change

A multidisciplinary approach to climate change
By Anne Choate
Executive Vice President, Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure
Mar 19, 2021
Anne Choate explains how ICF's understanding of the science, economics, and social implications of climate change sets us apart
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Anne Choate, our energy, environment, and infrastructure executive, always had an appreciation for science and math. She enjoyed the process of doing the research, crunching the numbers, and coming up with answers that were replicable and transparent.  

In college, she was intrigued by the nascent concept of climate change. She sought courses that blended hard science with public policy, economics, and statistics. She learned about engineering, ecosystem dynamics, global warming, and barrier island migration. 

"Climate change sounded so complicated to me back then. Twenty-five years later, we still haven’t solved the problem."

Many of the problem solvers of today can be found within Anne’s 2,000-person energy, environment, and infrastructure organization here at ICF. Our work is at the intersection of climate change, clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructure resilience. It’s timely and relevant work. Work that requires an understanding of the complexity and interdependence across sectors, plus the depth of coordination and cooperation that climate change solutions demand.  

Understanding backed by technology 

The desire (or need) to address climate change comes from many places: regulatory requirements, public commitments, risk avoidance, social and health equity, stakeholder pressures, and more. We offer solutions that are multidisciplinary—with an understanding of science, economics, and social implications—and that can be applied across both the public and private sector.   

"We use our analysis to develop scenarios that are transparent, replicable, and able to be refreshed as the world changes."

As our work supporting clients’ climate efforts for over 40 years has evolved, so have our tools. Anne recalls the folders with hundreds of Excel spreadsheets that now stand in stark contrast to Coâ‚‚Sight, our energy decarbonization scenario analysis platform. 

Empowerment of other women

As Anne reflects on her professional career, she remembers countless meetings with clients and stakeholders that provided opportunities to raise the bar and reset expectations. In the early days, especially in meetings with senior transportation and energy experts, she got the distinct feeling that she was expected to take notes or support facilitation. She said it was both daunting, but also exciting. She saw that misconception as an opportunity to prove herself as a technical expert and a leader. 

Today she is proud to work for a company that embraces gender diversity in leadership. As she champions inclusive leadership in her own organization, she understands firsthand the tradeoffs women face to find work-life balance. Open and honest conversations are how she’s empowering the next generation of experts who are also partners, caretakers, and mothers to make a difference for our clients and the world.  

"It’s an exciting time to be doing this work. And when you’re helping so many clients achieve their goals, the impact feels even greater."

Hear more from Anne about her career and the impact of ICF’s energy, environment, and infrastructure work in this podcast with Suncast media. 

Meet the author
  1. Anne Choate, Executive Vice President, Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure

    As the leader of a large operating group—Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure—that represents about a third of the company’s annual revenues, Anne leverages nearly 30 years of experience and expertise working at the intersection of decarbonization, climate adaptation, clean energy, and infrastructure resilience. View bio

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