Ashley Ward

Engagement and Outreach Associate, Internet of Water

Water Policy Program, Nicholas Institute, Duke University


T: 919-681-9647

Ashley’s career has focused on engaging communities to identify and address issues, and helping communities develop long-term, sustainable strategies relevant to their particular community needs. Her previous work with NOAA’s Carolinas RISA team connected rural and urban communities and policy-decision makers with relevant climate and health data, particularly related to vulnerabilities and impacts. Engagement with communities across the Carolinas revealed a knowledge and access gap in climate data, wherein many communities did not have the necessary data and expertise to inform decision-making, planning, and preparedness. Ashley and her colleagues at CISA worked with community stakeholders to develop a suite of open-access, web-based tools to address these issues.

Before her work with CISA, Ashley completed her PhD in Geography and worked with communities throughout NC on a host of issues such as local food availability and asset-based economic development strategies. Ashley’s passion is building coalitions to advance scientific understanding and communicate information in a way that is relevant for use by decision-makers. Having worked in a broad range of communities with varying levels of capacity, Ashley is particularly thoughtful about meeting communities where they are and working from there to achieve community goals.