Melissa Finucane

Vice President of Science & Innovation

head shot of Dr. Melissa Finucane

Melissa Finucane is Vice President of Science & Innovation at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she ensures UCS positions and solutions are informed by robust, independent, and equity-informed scientific analysis, and works with our technical staff and outside experts to identify leading-edge research opportunities that contribute to the organization’s mission. She fosters collaboration across the organization and with external partners and scientists, as well as provides guidance and support to UCS scientists and analysts.

Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Finucane was a senior social and behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation, where her research focused on understanding the human dimensions of environmental health risks, and designing policies that take them into account. She also co-directed the RAND Climate Resilience Center, whose work helps decisionmakers address the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Finucane was a principal investigator with the NOAA-funded Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA) program, an interdisciplinary partnership supporting decisionmakers with climate-sensitive issues such as flooding, freshwater management, coastal infrastructure, transport, and agriculture. She also directed the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities, which aims to assess and address community impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Dr. Finucane earned a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Western Australia.