Bill Quirk, Ph.D.
Appointed January 2023 by Governor Gavin Newsom
Term ends December 31, 2028
Bill Quirk served in the California State Assembly from 2012 to 2022. In the assembly, he was dedicated to achieving the greenhouse reduction values of Assembly Bill 32 in a way that achieves affordable and reliable energy while recognizing the needs of those most impacted by fossil fuel pollution. As chair of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, he fought to protect all California residents from toxic material in consumer products and the water supply. He also served on the Utilities and Energy Committee where he developed an overall view of the energy system in California including the electrical, building and vehicle systems.
Quirk was a pioneer in climate modeling, developing NASA's first climate model in the 1970s. He also contributed at a local level as a Hayward City Council member and spent time working in the legislature on responding to sea level rise and other impacts of the climate crisis.
Bill worked at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory for 27 years. At Livermore, he collaborated with the intelligence community to assess foreign nuclear weapons programs and played a key role in the negotiations of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
While on the Hayward City Council, Quirk persuaded the City of Hayward to fund a study to determine the best way to protect the Hayward shoreline from sea level rise. The findings stressed that the best solution was to build up Hayward's marshes. This philosophy has spread throughout the Bay Area, first with the Rising Tides program looking at the southeast bay and now through the Estuary Institute's study that determined what parts of the bay would be best protected by building up the marshes.
Quirk has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and a B.S. in engineering from Columbia University. In addition, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Caltech.