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Carrie Brown-Lima Appointed Regional Administrator

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Carrie Brown-Lima, a brown-haired woman, sits in front of a lake.

The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center is delighted to announce that the U.S. Geological Survey has appointed Carrie Brown-Lima as the center’s new Regional Administrator. In this capacity, Carrie will advance NE CASC’s mission by helping articulate our vision, formulate our long-term strategic plan, enhance collaboration with our partners, and expand the climate adaptation science community across our fourteen-state region. She will work in close partnership with NE-CASC University Co-directors Bethany Bradley and Jon Woodruff. 

Carrie brings 25 years of experience in natural resource conservation and management to her new role. During a career that has spanned multiple countries and addressed a variety of ecosystems, she has led development of strategic partnerships and programs that integrate science into natural resource decision-making and policies. Prior to joining NE CASC, she served for nine years as the Director of the New York Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI) at Cornell University. In that role, she worked across geographical, disciplinary and professional boundaries to forge connections between researchers, government agencies, managers, and other stakeholders to better inform invasive species management in New York and other northeastern states. 

“I am thrilled to join NE CASC, which has established an impressive track record of producing groundbreaking climate adaptation science that has greatly benefited resource management throughout the Northeast,” Carrie said. “A big part of the center’s success stems from the expansive network of partnerships it has developed with state and federal managers, NGOs, and researchers. I look forward to helping lead our team in building upon existing relationships to form an even bigger and more vibrant regional climate adaptation science community in the coming months. The expansion of this community is essential to protecting our natural resources in the face of climate change.” 

In addition to leading NYISRI, Brown-Lima partnered with NE CASC researchers Bethany Bradley and Toni Lyn Morelli to found the Northeast Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change Network (RISCC) in 2016. As a member of RISCC’s leadership team, Brown-Lima helped establish RISCC as a widely replicated model for addressing the dual threats of invasive species and climate change. Over the past three years, five other regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers have launched initiatives patterned after RISCC, and a sixth such effort was recently undertaken in Canada. RISCC has also been recognized with a Climate Adaptation Leadership Award from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). 

“NE CASC is incredibly fortunate to have Carrie as our new Regional Administrator,” Bradley said. “Carrie lives and breathes the goal of building partnerships to support natural resource management. She is a collaborative and insightful leader with an extensive track record of connecting managers and scientists. I can’t imagine a better candidate for this position.” 

Carrie is part of a cohort that includes five new appointees who are joining the CASC Network as regional administrators. Through these appointments, a significant new commitment has been made to the network with the assignment of a full-time, permanent administrator for each regional CASC. Prior to these hires, some regional administrators served more than one CASC while others had temporary appointments. This new staffing initiative follows other recent investments in the network, including a substantial funding increase that led to the creation of a new Midwest CASC and a more focused geographical footprint for NE CASC. 

“Throughout the interview process, it was clear that Carrie was a stellar candidate for her new position, and the NE CASC team is delighted that USGS has selected a regional administrator with such a broad array of skills and outstanding record of professional achievements,” Woodruff said. “Along with other recent investments in the CASC network, Carrie’s appointment will amplify NE CASC’s work in delivering actionable science and the tools needed to help both ecosystems and people adapt to climatic change in our region. This is a very exciting time both for NE CASC specifically and the CASC Network more broadly.” 

With Carrie’s appointment, Will Farmer has stepped down from his position as Acting Regional Administrator and has returned to his previous duties as Acting Assistant Regional Administrator.  During his tenure as Acting Regional Administrator, Will served NE CASC extremely well under challenging circumstances and significantly enhanced the center's operation through his vision, leadership and practical knack for getting things done.  The NE CASC team thanks him for his terrific work and looks forward to many future contributions from him as a vital member of our leadership group.