Shalini Vajjhala, PhD

  • Executive Director
  • San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center

As Executive Director of the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center, Shalini leads a team of experts dedicated to developing integrated solutions to San Diego’s most pressing challenges. Shalini has over 15 years of experience working across the public, private, and non-profit sectors on developing, designing, and financing resilient infrastructure for vulnerable communities around the world. Most recently, she served as founder and CEO of re:focus partners, a San Diego based design firm, and co-founder of The Atlas, an online community for local governments to find and source innovative solutions. Prior to founding re:focus, Shalini served as Special Representative in the Office of Administrator Lisa Jackson at the US EPA, where she led the US-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability. Previously, she was Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Office of International & Tribal Affairs at EPA and Deputy Associate Director for Energy & Climate at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She joined the Obama Administration from the environmental think-tank Resources for the Future. Shalini received her PhD in Engineering & Public Policy and B.Arch in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and was also a visiting associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


  • Ports and Climate Resilience

    The Port of San Diego is leading this panel presentation and discussion focused on how ports can build resiliency into key infrastructure projects to address climate change.