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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Swenja is an expert on climate resilience, adaptation, disaster risk management and sustainable finance, with a special focus on the role of the private sector and insurance. She currently works as Head of Adaptation Research at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, is Associate Principal at Vivid Economics, and runs Surminski Consulting.



Swenja is overseeing projects that investigate climate risk management and resilience strategies focusing on public policy, financial instruments and  corporate strategies through a mix of inter-disciplinary approaches. She has set up a new urban flood resilience governance research part of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance project, and leads an investigation of the Resilience Impact of Climate Insurance (ERICI).  She has published widely on these topics,  and is contributing author to the IPCC, and lead author of the business and industry chapter for the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2 and 3. She works closely with industry and policy makers and was appointed Visiting Academic at the Bank of England in 2015 to work on the regulator’s first report on climate change.

In addition to her academic career Swenja has spent more than 10 years in the international insurance industry working on climate risks and risk management. She is advising a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, international organizations and the private sector on insurance and climate risks, including recent work with the ADB, OECD, KfW, UNFCCC’s Loss and Damage Work program, the Worldbank, UK’s DFID, Germany’s GIZ, ClimateWise and the Geneva Association. 

 Swenja  Surminski
Head of Adaptation Research, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics