Ilana Solomon, SIS/MA '11
Why I chose SIS:
It offered an Executive Masters program that allowed me to further my education and continue my career path without interruption. I was also familiar with and very much respected the work of a number of SIS faculty.
How I make a difference in the world:
I currently lead the Sierra Club’s work on Responsible Trade. I work to build public support for trade and investment policies, and I help shed light on how our current model of free trade has been very harmful to the environment.
I find the field of international trade rewarding and engaging because it allows me to focus on issues related to our environment and our global economy. Work on trade is also interesting in that it is inherently both domestic and international, and brings me into contact with groups and people from across the country and the world –people who are dedicated to ensuring that the world is a more just and livable place for our generation and future generations.
Field of Study:
I was able to spend time with classmates and professors outside of the classroom and I found those interactions valuable in testing and developing my views on the policies on which I work.
English and Spanish
World Issues of Interest:
At SIS and for some time after, I worked for the international NGO ActionAid. My work there focused on how climate change affected developing countries, and the financing that the rich world owes to the poor world in order to deal with the impact of climate change. Climate change is still the world issue that is closest to my heart. At the Sierra Club, I work to ensure that trade rules do not undermine the ability of governments to enact policies to tackle climate change – combining my interests in climate change and the global economy.
Professional role model:
I draw much of my inspiration from people for whom change is not an abstract policy concept, but a life-or-death reality. These people are not necessarily professionals, but I find that they are frequently the people who speak most eloquently and poignantly about the problems they themselves and the world face as a result of the policy choices our governments and institutions make.