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

Shaping policy and Alzheimer’s research

Just six years since leaving Cambridge, Brianne Kent has secured a role as Assistant Professor, won multiple awards,  become the first early career researcher on the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [CIHR] and is currently setting up her own laboratory to further her studies on Alzheimer’s disease. Since January, when she […]

Ed-tech wins Gates Foundation funding for access work

An ed-tech non-profit co-founded by a Gates Cambridge Scholar has received a $980,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop its free college affordability tool. Moneythink, co-founded by Greg Nance who is also its Board Chair, says the money will help it to accelerate the development and reach of DecidED, its free […]

Gates Cambridge: a purposeful community

As the Gates Cambridge Scholarship reaches the end of its 20th anniversary year, its alumni association is holding an event late this month which celebrates some of the factors that have shaped the scholar community. That sense of community, of a global network of leaders, developed and owned by the scholars and alumni themselves, is […]

Fibre optic project aims to improve Sri Lanka’s infrastructure

A Gates Cambridge Alumnus has formed a partnership between his university, Cambridge and Oxford universities and a local engineering company to introduce a cutting-edge technology to Sri Lanka. A team of researchers and industry experts from the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka, the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC), the University of […]