Koch, Kathleen

Koch, Kathleen

Founder and Executive Director, LeadersLink, Clarksville

Kathleen Koch is an award-winning journalist and author who for 18 years was a CNN Washington correspondent covering the White House, Pentagon and Capitol Hill as well as numerous disasters including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.  She currently writes op-eds for CNN.com, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and other publications.  Koch is an international speaker on disaster and resilience and founder of LeadersLink, the first nonprofit to harness and share elected officials’ disaster lessons learned to help other cities better prevent, prepare for and recover from similar crises. 

Koch anchored two prize-winning documentaries on the recovery of her hometown, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and recorded its journey in a best-selling book, Rising from Katrina, which was named Best Nonfiction in the Southeast Region at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards.  She also won a 2006 Peabody award for her coverage of the hurricane. 

Koch is chair of Howard County, Maryland’s Community Organizations Active in Disaster, a network of more than 60 organizations working to speed and coordinate crisis preparation and recovery activity in the region. 

Koch was a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Dijon.


Thursday 17 June

  • Political Leadership in Climate Change: United We Stand?

    What recent changes in international cooperation, collaboration, and competition in the realm of climate action can be observed or expected in the near future? What can we expect and cautiously hope for as the world comes together again in Glasgow, to get the Paris Agreement back on track?

    • Livingston, David
    • Morgan, Jennifer
    • Tubiana, Laurence
    • Bridge, Nick
    • Koch, Kathleen

    Expectations for this year’s COP 26 are high. While pre-pandemic global challenges remain, transatlantic unity around the issues of climate change has been restored with willing and able climate champions on both sides of the Atlantic. After a hiatus, the US Administration re-joined the Paris Agreement this year and placed climate change back at the top of its domestic political agenda. This is a momentum to capitalize on, along with the once-in-a-lifetime stimulus funding on the table. With less margin for error than ever, the world now needs to focus on the global imperative of recovering better inclusively, digitally, and sustainably.


    Grand Hotel River Park