Over the past six months, Global Green USA has had the pleasure of working with two outstanding policy fellows: Sumin Sohn, MBA, MPP and Jenna Losh, PhD. Before they move upward and onward, we took a few minutes to hear about their experience with Global Green and their hopes for the future.
Global Green USA: Can you please share a bit of your background and your interest in working with Global Green?
Sumin: After getting an MBA and working in the private sector for 4 years, I realized that I wanted to combine my experiences in business with my passion for sustainability. The fellowship at Global Green was a great opportunity to learn more about the field as well as the inner workings of a nonprofit organization.
Jenna: I first got interested in climate change at the end of my undergraduate work, studying biochemistry at the University of Illinois. I then knew I wanted to work on environmental policy issues, but with a strong technical background so I could interpret and explain the necessary science to decision-makers. I finished my PhD in Geosciences at Princeton University several years later, and was looking to get some experience working in the nonprofit sector on policies that address climate change. Global Green was a great opportunity to work on these projects on national, state, and local levels.
GGUSA: What was your primary focus during your fellowship?
Sumin: I worked on two projects: one was a research project looking at the challenges of accessing healthy food in urban food deserts. For the second project, I supported Global Green’s partnership with the Santa Monica to launch a bike share program in the city.
Jenna: I focused mainly on energy and energy efficiency in Los Angeles. Both projects I worked on advocated for smart policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles by transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources.
GGUSA: What were you most surprised to learn about Global Green and/or the field in which we work?
Sumin: I was most surprised and impressed by how much importance Global Green puts on ensuring that sustainability initiatives are inclusive and their benefits can be shared by everyone, including low-income and marginalized communities.
Jenna: I was surprised to see the large range of issues and projects Global Green works on. Each office works on such diverse issues - but all under the same vision of building a more sustainable, secure future.
GGUSA: How has working with Global Green helped inform and/or inspire the next step in your career journey?
Sumin: As a career switcher, my experience at Global Green has confirmed my commitment and interest in pursuing a career in the field of sustainability.
Jenna: Global Green has reinforced my desire to address environmental issues on the state and local levels. While national (and international) policies are the end-goal, the current political gridlock has essentially halted most opportunities. I've learned how tight relationships with other organizations and with City leadership can lead to real, measurable progress. Cities and states are great incubators for new policy ideas, and California in particular has such progressive ideas that can help other cities, states, or even countries.
GGUSA: What do you hope the environmental community – or even the global community – will have achieved by 2050?
Sumin: I hope that the environmental community can inspire and help every single person make smart decisions that are beneficial to the individuals and to the planet.
Jenna: By 2050, I hope the global community will be many years (ideally decades) into the application of an ambitious and effective global climate change policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to minimal levels. I hope the United States is able to pave the way for this process, so by 2050 we (the USA) can again be an example in environmental leadership.
Huge thanks to both Sumin and Jenna for their phenomenal contributions to Global Green USA and our environment!
If you're interested in becoming a Policy Fellow at Global Green USA, please apply here!