National Drought Mitigation Center

Who We Are

About Cody

Dr. Knutson is the Planning Coordinator at the National Drought Mitigation Center. With a background in social science and water resources, his work focuses on understanding how people and systems are vulnerable to drought and collaboratively developing strategies, tools, and plans to minimize drought risk. Since 1997, he has worked with a range of stakeholder groups such as agricultural producers, communities, tribes, states, and national governments on these activities. He has co-led the creation of national and international drought planning guides and related tools, and the organization and facilitation of 50 drought-related research and training workshops and webinars across the United States during the last decade. He has served on subcommittees of the National Integrated Drought Information System, National Drought Policy Commission, Western Drought Coordination Council, Nebraska Climate Assessment and Response Committee, and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Dr. Knutson is recognized internationally for his drought planning work and has been a consultant for the World Bank and several United Nations organizations (UNISDR, FAO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF), and has been a frequently invited speaker and/or consultant for activities in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe.


  • Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in geography with applied, human, and environmental specializations. Dissertation: Rural Water Development in Marginal Regions: A Case Study of South Dakota’s Mni Wiconi Rural Water Supply System
  • Certification in public policy analysis and program evaluation in 2001 from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Political Science Department
  • M.A. in 1997 from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in anthropology, specializing in applied/development anthropology 
  • M.S. in 1996 from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in geological engineering, specializing in water resources and environmental quality
  • B.S. in 1993 from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in geological engineering, specializing in ground water