Scholar recognised in top 100 influencers on climate policy

  • March 20, 2019
Scholar recognised in top 100 influencers on climate policy

Victoria Herrmann is recognised in Apolitical's World's 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019.

Victoria Herrmann is the sort of person on whom - without exaggeration - the world pins its hope.

Gates Cambridge Scholar

Gates Cambridge Scholar Victoria Herrmann has been named one of the top 100 most influential people in climate policy.

Victoria [2014], who is President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute think tank, has been named in Apolitical's World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019 list alongside Sir David Attenborough, Pope Francis, Greta Thunberg and Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Victoria, who did her PhD in Polar Studies on how images and aesthetic codes construct values, identities and ideas of power in the Arctic, was a past winner of the Bill Gates Sr Prize. She leads the Arctic Institute’s research on climate change and community adaptation in Arctic communities. 

Her current project, Rise Up to Rising Tides, is an online matchmaking platform that connects expert volunteers with climate-affected communities to help them adapt.

Victoria is the author of Arctic Melt: Turning Resource Extraction into Human Development (2015) and has been published across many peer-review journals. She was also praised for her public engagement work, including media appearances on the CNN, BBC, NPR, Radio Canada in addition to articles in the Washington Post, Guardian and New York Times, amongst many others.

She was a National Geographic Explorer when she was at Cambridge and she spearheaded and led America’s Eroding Edges, a research and storytelling project on the impacts of climate change on coastal communities and livelihoods that will be shared through articles, a book and a documentary.

Victoria has also co-convened the Pocantico Climate & Cultural Heritage Working Group, a working group of high-level cultural heritage leaders engaged in climate change adaptation and migration efforts.

One of the scholars who nominated her for the Bill Gates Sr Prize wrote simply: “Victoria Herrmann is the sort of person on whom – without exaggeration – the world pins its hope.”

*The full list of Apolitical's World's 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019 can be found here.

Victoria Herrmann

Victoria Herrmann

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2014 PhD Polar Studies at Scott Polar Institute
  • Pembroke College

Victoria is interested in exploring the nexus of climate change, human development, and public policy in the Arctic. Her PhD research focuses on how images and aesthetic codes construct values, identities, and ideas of power in the Arctic since the Second World War. From a young age Victoria's grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, has inspired her to pursue a career promoting social justice and empowerment. During her undergraduate degree, she followed that inspiration through two emerging personal interests - art and environmentalism. Through internships at The Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she helped to create programs to bring different, often contentious, communities together through museum educational events. At the Untied Nations and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, she later worked on research, writing, and advocacy for climate justice, urban resiliency in socioeconomically depressed neighbourhoods, and mitigation. Though passionate about art, climate change, and social justice individually, it was not until her Fulbright research that Victoria was able to bring her three disparate interests together. During her year in Canada, she studied how indigenous civil society groups used visual media to empower their voices at climate change negotiations. At Cambridge, she continues this multidisciplinary approach to scholarship by examining the changing visual narratives of geopolitics in the Arctic and its influence on perceptions of power, justice, and agency. As the Alumni Officer Victoria works closely with the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association to connect the scholar and alumni communities.

Latest News

Provost wins top Royal Society award

Gates Cambridge Provost Professor Barry Everitt has been selected for the Royal Society’s premier award in the biological sciences. Professor Barry Everitt FMedSci FRS has been awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2021 for his research on the application of his findings on brain mechanisms of motivation to important societal issues, such as drug addiction. […]

Addressing energy injustice in the Global South

A new framework which uses artificial intelligence to analyse textual data on energy use and behaviour could help policymakers develop a deeper understanding of energy injustices in the Global South. The study, Grounded reality meets machine learning: A deep-narrative analysis framework for energy policy research, was led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Ramit Debnath [2018] and is published in the journal Energy Research […]

Scholar wins top German prize for PhD thesis

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has won a prestigious international award for her PhD dissertation on the relationship between offshore finance and state power. Dr Andrea Binder was named winner of the Körber Foundation’s German Dissertation Award 2020 for social sciences. The prize, one of the most highly endowed for young researchers from Germany, honours excellent PhD research which […]

Developing a farm for impact model

Shadrack Frimpong has not yet started his PhD, but already his and his team’s work has earned him awards from the Queen, the Clinton Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Foundation. The awards are for their outstanding work in creating a potential new development model for rural crop-growing communities starting from Shadrack’s own village in Ghana. […]