GSD Names Karenna Gore 2024 Class Day Speaker

Karenna Gore (AB ’95) will address the graduating class of the Harvard Graduate School of Design during Class Day exercises on Wednesday, May 22.

A photograph portrait of Karenna Gore, who has shoulder-length hair and wears a dark blue top.
Karenna Gore. Courtesy Center for Earth Ethics.

Gore is the founder and executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics (CEE) and Visiting Professor of Practice of Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Gore formed CEE in 2015 to address the moral and spiritual dimensions of the climate crisis. Working at the intersection of values, ethics, and ecology, she guides the Center’s public programs, educational initiatives, and movement-building. She also is an ex officio faculty member of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Her previous experience includes serving as director of Union Forum at Union Theological Seminary, a platform for theological scholarship to engage with civic discourse and social change. Gore also worked at the legal center of Sanctuary for Families, which serves victims of domestic violence and trafficking; was director of community affairs for the Association to Benefit Children, which provides early childhood education and other services for New York City families living in poverty; and was an associate with the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Gore is the author of Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America (2006), and has written for numerous publications, including Slate, El País (Spain), and the New York Times. She serves on the boards of the Association to Benefit Children, the Sweetwater Cultural Center, and Riverkeeper. She is also an expert in the United Nations’ Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network, an online platform of practitioners, academics, and researchers.

A graduate of Harvard College, Gore earned her law degree from Columbia Law School and a master’s degree in social ethics from Union Theological Seminary.

Gore’s address will take place in the Gund Hall Backyard. Please check the GSD website for schedule updates and information about live-streaming.