Allison Leidner is the program manager for the Climate & Resilience program area. Climate & Resilience works with the public and private sector to determine how to utilize NASA’s unique resources for climate-related decisions and analyses.
A conservation biologist by training, Allison began her tenure at NASA in 2010 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow working with NASA's Biodiversity program. She coordinated and managed numerous aspects of the program, led involvement in special activities such as the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, and served as a liaison to the domestic and international conservation remote sensing community via her work with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Allison also led NASA’s involvement in the Third National Climate Assessment through a U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and later served as the co-chair for the USGCRP Sustained Assessment Interagency Working Group. She also received a NASA Special Service Award in 2014.
Prior to becoming the first program manager for the Climate & Resilience program area in 2022, Allison was the program manager for Education and Communication within NASA's Earth Science Division. In this role, she managed early career research, including the graduate student research program (NESFF and FINESST) and the New Investigator Program (NIP). She also managed many of the Earth Science Division’s communications activities. Additionally, Allison additionally is the program manager for the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, an interagency and international hands-on environmental science and education program. She has retained this role while starting up the new Climate & Resilience program.
Allison’s academic research focused on the ecology and conservation of rare and endangered species. With an eye toward developing practical recommendations for natural resource management, she investigated the impacts of habitat fragmentation on butterfly communities to identify conservation strategies to promote landscape connectivity. She also researched the recovery planning process for plants and animals listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Prior to joining NASA, Allison worked as a spatial conservation planner for The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Division. Allison earned a Ph.D. in Zoology from North Carolina State University and a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Stanford.