WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of U.S. governors representing about 55% of the U.S. population and 60% of U.S. GDP, today announced that Casey Katims, who most recently served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Intergovernmental Relations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been named Executive Director. The Alliance also announced that Taryn Finnessey, who most recently served as the Alliance’s Policy Director and Acting Executive Director, has been promoted to Managing Director of the Alliance, where she will support Katims in management of the organization.
“Whether working with EPA, on behalf of Washington state, or in the halls of Congress, Casey has relentlessly forged consensus and found solutions — no matter the obstacles. This is exactly the experience and commitment we need as we confront the climate crisis and we’re confident Casey will lead the Alliance to new heights,” said the Alliance’s co-chairs New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. “We’re also grateful for the tireless work of the Alliance’s staff — including Julie Cerqueira, the Alliance’s Executive Director from 2018 to 2021, and Managing Director Taryn Finnessey — who have done so much to expand the coalition’s reach and positioned us for continued success.”
“State climate leadership has never been more important, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves with the governors and states making our country’s transition to a net-zero future a reality,” said Alliance Executive Director Casey Katims. “This talented team is focused on action and impact, and we will continue to innovate, collaborate, and lead on climate. The challenges before us are immense, but so too are the opportunities, and we’re moving full speed ahead.”
As EPA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Intergovernmental Relations, Katims served as a key member of the EPA leadership team and directed the agency’s work with state and local governments. In this role, he built coalitions across government to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s environmental priorities and forged partnerships with governors and mayors to protect vulnerable communities from pollution. Prior to his work with EPA, Katims was Director of Federal and Inter-State Affairs for Washington Governor Jay Inslee, serving as the governor’s primary advisor on federal policy issues and directing the state of Washington’s engagement with Congress, the White House, federal agencies, and fellow governors’ offices.
Katims previously spent five years as a policy advisor in the U.S. House of Representatives for Rep. Suzan DelBene, developing bills and amendments on a range of issues and helping manage the member’s responsibilities on the House Ways and Means Committee. Katims graduated from Vassar College and grew up in Edmonds, Washington.
Taryn Finnessey, who today was promoted to Managing Director of the Alliance, most recently served as the Alliance’s Policy Director and Acting Executive Director. Prior to these roles, Finnessey was Senior Policy Advisor with the Alliance focused on reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants and increasing equity in the transition to a clean energy economy. Before joining the Alliance, Finnessey was the Senior Climate Change Specialist for the State of Colorado, where she coordinated the state’s climate change efforts across state agencies to integrate scientific and policy innovations that reduce emissions and address climate change impacts, and helped establish Colorado as a national and international leader on drought resilience.
Launched on June 1, 2017 by the governors of Washington, New York, and California to help fill the void left by the previous administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the Alliance has grown to include governors from across the U.S. Governors in the Alliance have pledged to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, at least 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and collectively achieve overall net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.
Alliance states and territories are achieving lower levels of air pollution, delivering more energy savings to homes and businesses, preparing more effectively for climate impacts, generating more electricity from zero-carbon sources, and collectively employing over 40% more workers in the clean energy sector than the rest of the country. For more information on Alliance members’ bipartisan, cross-sector climate action, see our Fact Sheet.