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Chief Heat Officers Face Rising Temperatures — and Expectations

The “insidious” impact of extreme heat is challenging cities to find cross-disciplinary solutions.

A cooling center in Los Angeles during a triple-digit heat wave on Sept. 2, 2022. 

A cooling center in Los Angeles during a triple-digit heat wave on Sept. 2, 2022. 

Photographer: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The first-ever gathering of chief heat officers from cities around the globe brought civic leaders from countries as diverse as Chile, Greece and Sierra Leone to Washington, D.C., recently. The all-female group of urban policymakers shared the challenging role of adapting to the harsh realities of climate change today.

“The awareness part is the most important thing, because it’s the first thing we have to target,” said Eleni Myrivili, heat adviser to the city of Athens. “Heat is always something that’s insidious and silent.”