Heather Henriksen has served as Harvard University’s chief sustainability officer since 2008, advising the President and senior leadership on strategy and building an organizational change initiative that resulted in the University community achieving its initial science-based climate goal of a 30% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions, from 2006 to 2016, despite the addition of over 3 million square feet of space.
Heather directs the Office for Sustainability which oversees the implementation of the Harvard’s comprehensive Sustainability Plan (co-created with faculty and students in 2014) and the University’s ambitious new Climate Action Plan which sets bold goals to transform campus operations to be fossil fuel-free by 2050 and fossil fuel-neutral by 2026. She and her team have expanded a multi-disciplinary living laboratory research program that partners with faculty and students to use the campus as a test bed for piloting and sharing innovative solutions to real-world sustainability challenges. A nationally recognized leader in healthier building materials, Heather is leading an effort within Harvard and externally with business and non-profit leaders, including Google and Healthy Building Network, to address the use of chemicals of concern in common building materials and products, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative. She also advises courses throughout Harvard College and the professional graduate schools, and speaks nationally and internationally on sustainability.
Heather serves as Advisory Committee co-chair of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) and is a member of the Sustainability Working Group for the Council of Ivy Presidents. In coordination with Harvard’s Executive Vice President, she manages the Higher Education Working Group of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and serves on the City of Cambridge’s Compact for a Sustainable Future Steering Committee and served on Cambridge’s Net Zero Task Force. Heather is also a member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), and serves on the Board of Trustees of Phillips Brooks House Association. She holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.