Brittany Janis is the Associate Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) and Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP) at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. In this role, she oversees the effective operations of both programs and helps build strategic partnerships across Harvard and with external organizations.

Janis was formerly the Associate Director of the Belfer Center's Arctic Initiative, where she helped lead the Initiative's research on advancing resilience in Arctic communities and developing policy solutions to combat plastic pollution in the Arctic Ocean. She graduated in May 2019 from the Harvard Kennedy School MC/MPA Program. She is a Co-Founder and the Community Development Director of Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment (HACE) Special Interest Group. While a student at HKS, Brittany worked as a Research Assistant for the Arctic Initiative, was a student member of the HKS Sustainability Leadership Council, and served as Program Director for the student-led Social Enterprise Conference.

Before coming to Harvard, she spent her career working in strategic fund development and nonprofit management for a range of nonprofit organizations from New York to San Francisco. Most recently, she served as a Major Gift Officer at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). She’s a former President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and holds a M.A. in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary's University of Minnesota. She received her B.A. in History, Political Science, and Theater from Case Western Reserve University.

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A Global Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic

| Feb. 26, 2021

In 2019, the Belfer Center’s Arctic Initiative and the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute co-hosted a workshop with the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council at Harvard Kennedy School entitled, Policy and Action on Plastic in the Arctic Ocean. This early-convening played a key role in fostering a policy discussion around tackling the problem of plastics in the Arctic Ocean. 

Now in 2021 the first global conference focused on plastic pollution in the Arctic Ocean, the International Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and the Sub-Arctic Region,  will be hosted virtually in early March. Findings from the 2019 event will be featured as a keynote in the Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and as part of the final panel on March 9, which is focused on the topic of “Ways Forward”. 

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

UnSplash/Roxanne Desgagnés

Together Toward a Sustainable Arctic

| Spring 2021

The Arctic Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and the Polar Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted Iceland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, for an engaging Earth Day dialogue on sustainability.  

As the Arctic continues to transform due to a changing climate, Minister Thórdarson discussed the critical role the Arctic Council will continue to play in promoting collaboration on the issues of sustainable development and environmental protection across the Arctic and beyond. The collaboration is also essential to global security. 



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