Dr. Judith Kildow is Founder and Director Emeritus of the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) (www.OceanEconomics.org), a driving force behind the creation of the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. Her field of interest bridges science, economics and policy, identifying how economic activities and ocean changes affect each other and influence policies.

She spent 25+ years as a professor at MIT, tenured in the Department of Ocean Engineering, was Senior Social Scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, James W. Rote Distinguished Professor, California State University Monterey Bay, Research Faculty/Senior Fellow at Harvard University, University of Southern California and University of Vermont. Dr. Kildow has an AB in Political Science from Grinnel College and a Ph. D. in International Relations and Science Policy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

She has served on National Academy of Sciences boards and committees, on federal and state government, corporate and editorial boards, and has published and lectured widely in the fields of coastal and ocean policy and economics. Recently, she has traveled to China, Korea, Italy, France and England, and throughout the US, invited to speak about the value of oceans and coasts and the necessity to prepare for impacts from Climate Changes to our shores.

Dr. Kildow transitions this year from full-time Director to “retired academic,” meaning she will likely be busier than ever.  On the heels of her recent NSF funded “Arctic Economics Workshop,” she is pursuing further NSF grants to spur economic studies of the Arctic, continuing to pursue her ever forward-thinking endeavors.  Dr. Jason Scorse, Director of the Center for the Blue Economy is now tasked with shepherding the National Ocean Economics Program dataset into the future.  Honoring Dr. Kildow at a recent Advisory Council meeting he said,  “Among my friends we say, ‘If I have one original thought in my lifetime, I’ll consider my life worthy.’  To contribute something new to the world is a rare thing.  Judy, along with Charlie, created a new field of inquiry for the world, a new tool for the world.  Very few will look back at their life and see this level of innovation.”

We look forward to working with Dr. Kildow in her continued role as Center for the Blue Economy Advisory Council member.  Thank you Dr. Kildow for your immense contribution to the world.

She currently spends her time in Dallas, Texas where she lives with her husband and dog Lily.

Areas of Interest

  • Ocean and coastal economics
  • Coastal management
  • Marine and science policy

Recent Research

  • Building consensus on a working definition of “New Blue Economy”
  • Economic and environmental implications of opening up the Artic
  • Building a global coastal alliance of nations to standardize definitions and data collection for Ocean Accounts


Academic Degrees

The Fletcher School, Tufts University:

Ph.D International Relations and Science Policy, 1972

The Fletcher School, Tufts University:

M.A.in Law and Diplomacy, 1964

Grinnel College

B.A. in Political Science, 1964


Judith Kildow and Jason Scorse (CBE Director) “Ecosystem Services and Their Economic and Social Value”, chapter in Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management, Taylor and Francis Publishers (2014)

Judith Kildow and Jing Guo (Visiting Scholar) “The Gap between Science and Policy: Assessing the Use of Non-market Valuation in Estuarine Management,” Ocean and Coastal Management, Elsevier Press (2014)

Judith Kildow and Matthew Nichols (2014 OCRM grad) The Political Economy of Oil Spill Damage Assessment: NRDA and Deepwater Horizon, CBE working paper (2014)

Kildow, Colgan, Scorse, Johnston and Nichols, “The State of the US Ocean and Coastal Economy,” National Ocean Economics Report,Center for the Blue Economy, Monterey Institute of International Studies (2014)