Michael I. Westphal

Head of Science


Dr. Michael I. Westphal is the Head of Science for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Technical Support Unit (WGIII TSU) for the IPCC Seventh Assessment Report cycle. The Head of Science provides senior-level scientific leadership for WGIII assessment programs, working with, and under the guidance of, the WGIII Co-Chairs to structure, summarize, and disseminate key findings generated by and during the assessment process and providing scientific direction to TSU staff in support of IPCC-wide commitments.

Dr. Westphal has 20 years of experience working on all facets of climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, economics, finance, and international development, across the U.S. Government, international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector. Prior to coming to the IPCC, Michael was an Earth scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI), where his work focused on integrated assessment modeling, net-zero emissions pathways, and climate and energy policies. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Westphal served as a Contributing Author on the Sixth Assessment Report (WGIII AR6 Chapter 8, “Urban Systems and Other Settlements”) and was the Review Editor for Chapter 32 (“Mitigation”) for the U.S. Fifth National Climate Assessment. He received his PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California at Berkeley and undergraduate degrees from the University of Rochester (NY).