Paul Fleming has extensive background and experience at the intersection of water resources, climate change, technology, utility management and corporate stewardship and strategy. He is currently a fellow and board member of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, a member of a National Academy of Sciences Committee that is advising the U.S. global change research program, and an advisor to companies working in the water space. Most recently, he established and led the Global Water Program for Microsoft. Under Paul’s leadership, Microsoft committed to be water positive by 2030, with a goal of replenishing more water the company consumes globally in more than forty water stressed locations around the world and enabling drinking water and/or sanitation access to at least 1.5 million people in seven countries. In addition to driving the company’s water stewardship commitments, Paul built collaborative partnerships with other companies and NGOs, advanced the company’s engagement on digital water and served as the company’s water subject matter expert, advising business groups on go to market strategies. In that capacity he helped co-found the Water Resilience Coalition, a group of nearly two companies focused on collective action to improve conditions in water stressed regions around the world and directly supported 20+ water replenishment projects in areas where Microsoft has operations.
Before joining Microsoft, Paul established and led the Climate Resiliency Group for the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which was one of the first dedicated groups focused on climate change in an US municipal utility. In that role, he was responsible for building organizational adaptive capacity, developing collaborative partnerships, and assessing the possible impacts of climate change on the utilities’ systems and integrating climate considerations into utility decision making and planning. While at SPU he helped co-found the Water Utility Climate Alliance, a group of ten urban water utilities with a mission to collaboratively advance water utility climate change adaptation, was the co-convening lead author of the Water Resources Chapter of the 3rd U.S. National Climate Assessment and played a leadership role in several other water and climate initiatives.