2018-2019 Luce Scholar

Trustee of The Asia Foundation



Kelsey Harpham is a water resources engineer and planning specialist, currently engaged in projects throughout Asia addressing issues of climate resilience, water resources management, disaster risk reduction, and climate-change adaptation of infrastructure. Her work combines the technical elements of water resources engineering with urban policy, and training in water conflict transformation with diverse international development projects. Kelsey’s experience includes collaborative watershed management; water supply planning; engineering design of water and wastewater treatment infrastructure; and stakeholder-based project management in South and Southeast Asia. She works for the International Centre for Environmental Resources, located in Hanoi, Vietnam, guiding teams of international and national experts to build a shared understanding of the natural and climate hazards, investment needs, and vulnerabilities of communities and regions by engaging directly with local governments and stakeholders to collect, analyze, and interpret data, modelling results, and on-the-ground experiences. The outcomes of this work are being adopted by national and local level governments in Mongolia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, and Cambodia.

Kelsey was a 2018-2019 Luce Scholar based in Hanoi, Vietnam where she had the opportunity to experience and learn about Asian culture while working and traveling throughout much of South and Southeast Asia. She previously worked for HDR Inc. and Jacobs Engineering Group as a design engineer for water supply and water/wastewater treatment projects throughout the U.S., providing water quality analysis, treatment recommendations, and hydraulic modeling for municipal and industrial clients. Kelsey received a master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering from Oregon State University in 2016, supported by a Selected Professions Fellowship from the American Association of University Women. Outside of work, Kelsey enjoys early morning runs along whichever water body is nearest and traversing the urban and natural landscapes that surround her.