Rhiana Gunn-Wright, one of the leading architects of the Green New Deal, is at the center of creating lasting, inclusive solutions to combat climate change. While she works to engage older generations in fight against climate change, she sees the struggle as primarily generational. Young people will bear the brunt of the crisis so they must lead the fight for change. In this lecture, she will discuss her work as a climate activist and policy expert and inspire the Penn State student community to join the fight for creating just and urgent responses to the climate crisis.
In 2019, Gunn-Wright was included in Time magazine’s list of the “15 Women Leading the Fight Against Climate Change.” She is currently the director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute, and a member of the Evergreen Advisory Board. She started a career in public policy after graduating from Yale magna cum laude in 2011. In the summer of 2013, she served as a White House policy intern in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Office, and in 2015, she became a Design Research Fellow at Educational Credit Management Corporation in Minneapolis. Rhiana also worked as the Policy Analyst for the Detroit Health Department headed by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, and then served as the Policy Director for El-Sayed’s 2018 Michigan gubernatorial campaign. After El-Sayed’s loss, she joined New Consensus, a D.C.-based think tank founded by Demond Drummer, a Chicago-based grassroots organizer, and Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.