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Senior Associate

David Cooley is an environmental scientist with more than 15 years of experience working in climate change and environmental management. His work has focused on the interactions between climate change mitigation, air pollution reductions, and improvements in public health. He has managed multiple projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Agency for International Development, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to evaluate opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutant emissions.

Cooley currently manages a project for NYSERDA to evaluate the public health benefits of achieving GHG emission reduction targets in New York State. New York has passed a law requiring the state to become carbon neutral by 2050. Cooley leads a project to estimate how meeting those GHG reduction targets will also result in significant improvements in air quality and associated health benefits. This involves overseeing a team of Abt staff and subcontractors to develop air pollution emission estimates, conducting air quality and health impacts modeling, and summarizing and presenting the results to the client. Policymakers in New York have used the results of this analysis to explain the benefits of their policies to stakeholders.

Cooley also manages the CO-Benefits Risk Assessment Health Impacts Screening and Mapping Tool (COBRA) for the U.S. EPA. This tool provides estimates of the health benefits of air pollutant emission reductions in United States, and it is intended to support state and local governments in quantifying the benefits of their environmental policies. In addition, Cooley leads Abt’s support for the National Emissions Inventory for the U.S. EPA, which includes developing estimates of air pollutant emissions from diffuse sources that can’t be directly measured, such as smoke from wood stoves, emissions from commercial cooking, and fumes from solvent use, among others. He also manages Abt’s support for the EPA’s Global Methane Initiative, which helps countries around the world reduce barriers to the recovery and use of methane as a valuable energy source


  • Climate change mitigation 
  • Air emissions inventory development
  • Public health analysis
  • Policy analysis

Key Projects:

  • CO-Benefits Risk Assessment Health Impacts Screening and Mapping Tool
  • Global Methane Initiative
  • Air Quality and Public Health Benefits of Decarbonization Pathways in New York State
  • Support for the National Emissions Inventory


  • Perera, F., A. Berberian, D.M. Cooley, E. Shenaut, H. Olmstead, Z. Ross, and T. Matte. 2020. Potential health benefits of sustained air quality improvements in New York City: A simulation based on air pollution levels during the COVID-19 shutdown. Environmental Research. 193: 110555.
  • Perera, F., D.M. Cooley, A. Berberian, D. Mills, and P. Kinney. 2020. Co-Benefits to Children’s Health of the US Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Environmental Health Perspectives. 128: 077006. Selected Papers and Publications
David Cooley