Sherri Goodman is a proven leader with 35 years’ of experience in national security, energy and climate security, including service as the first Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security), first female professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and pioneer in the field of climate security, organizing and founding numerous organizations dedicated to the nexus of climate change and national security.
Sherri is currently Secretary General of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, Senior Strategist and Advisory Board member at the Center for Climate and Security, and Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s Polar Institute and Environmental Change and Security Program.
Sherri served as the President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Earlier she served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of CNA (Center for Naval Analyses) where she was also the founder and Executive Director of the CNA Military Advisory Board, whose landmark reports include National Security and the Threat of Climate Change (2007), and National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change (2014), Advanced Energy and US National Security (2017), and The Role of Water Stress in Instability and Conflict (2017) among others. The film The Age of Consequences in which Sherri is featured, is based on the work of the CNA Military Advisory Board.
Sherri served as the first Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) from 1993-2001. As the chief environmental, safety, and occupational health officer for the Department of Defense (DoD), she established the first environmental, safety and health performance metrics for the Department, and led its energy, environmental and natural resource conservation programs. Overseeing the President’s plan for revitalizing base closure communities, she ensured that 80% of base closure property became available for transfer and reuse. She led the Secretary’s Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation program which developed a container for storage of spent nuclear fuel for liquid waste from Russian nuclear submarines.
Sherri served on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee where she was responsible for oversight of the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons complex, including research and development of nuclear materials and national labs, and environmental cleanup and management. She has practiced law at Goodwin Procter, as both a litigator and environmental attorney, and has worked at RAND and SAIC.
Sherri has received numerous honors and awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from Amherst College in 2018, the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and 2001, the Gold Medal Award from the National Defense Industrial Organization in 1996, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Award in 2000.
Sherri serves on the boards of Sandia National Laboratories External Advisory Board on Energy and Critical Infrastructure, the Atlantic Council, the Council on Strategic Risks (Chair), the Joint Ocean Commission Leadership Council, the Marshall Legacy Institute, the Advisory Council for Marstel Day (Chair), Schneider Electric Buildings Critical Systems, the National Academy of Sciences Advisory Committee of the US Global Change Research Program, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on its Arctic Task Force in 2016. Previously, she served on the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Advisory Board, and the Boards of Blue Star Families, the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the National Academy of Sciences’ Boards on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES) and Environmental Systems and Toxicology (BEST), and the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board, where she co-authored studies on Arctic Security and Energy Security.
Sherri has written a book, The Neutron Bomb Controversy: A Case Study in Alliance Politics, and authored dozens of reports and articles on a broad range of nuclear, energy and environmental security issues. She has testified before numerous committees of the U.S. Congress, and appears frequently in national, international and on-line media. She has been an Adjunct Lecturer in International Affairs and Security at the Kennedy School of Government and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Center for Science and International Affairs. Sherri is the child of Holocaust refugees, who escaped Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. A summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College, she earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and a masters in public policy degree from Harvard Kennedy School.