Bangor Alumna among world's most influential women
Susan Chomba, who was in the first cohort to graduate with a Masters degree in Sustainable Tropical Forestry, has been included among the world’s 100 most influential women.
Graduates from Bangor University are making an impact around the globe. If proof were needed, one graduate, Susan Chomba, who was in the first cohort to graduate with a Masters degree in Sustainable Tropical Forestry, has been included among the world’s 100 most influential women.
The list, produced by the BBC includes former US First Lady Michelle Obama, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, Ballon d'Or-winning footballer Aitana Bonmatí, feminist icon Gloria Steinem and Hollywood star America Ferrera.
This year’s list also highlights women who have been working to help their communities tackle climate change and take action to adjust to its impacts.
Now a director at the World Resources Institute (WRI), Susan Chomba says her experience of childhood poverty in Kirinyaga county in central Kenya motivates her to help improve the lives of others.
She primarily concerns herself with protecting forests, restoring landscapes and transforming Africa's food systems.
From the tropical forests of the Congo Basin to the dry West African Sahel, as well as eastern Africa, Chomba spends time working with smallholder farmers, particularly women and young people, to help them make the most of their land.
She shares her expertise with governments and researchers to build more resilient communities in the face of intensifying climate change. She says;
I'm more affected by the inaction of world leaders, especially from the major emitters, who also have the economic power to change course but are held back by money, power and politics. To manage those feelings, I bury myself in actions on the ground, working with women and youth across Africa on nature protection and restoration, transforming our food systems and changing policies.
Academics at Bangor University’s School of Environmental & Natural Sciences were keen to share their congratulations with Susan, Professor Morag Mcdonald, Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor for Science & Engineering and Head of the College said,"Susan is an inspiration, very few of the world's climate scientists are women, and a small fraction of those are African women, a continent hard-hit by climate change. She plays a vital role in empowering and giving women a platform in the in the climate emergency."
“Susan was in the first ever graduating cohort of our European Masters in Sustainable Tropical Forestry and was awarded a dual degree from Bangor and Copenhagen Universities. She was also the first recipient of the Peter Henry Forestry Postgraduate Award. Peter is one of our benefactors and Susan credits the award as being instrumental in supporting her MSc field work in Tanzania which started her research career.”
Of her time studying at Bangor University, Susan says,
I remember my student life in Bangor with great nostalgia and respect for the teaching fraternity that played a pivotal role in shaping my career trajectory. The experience they bring from different parts of the world made the content of teaching resonate with a great number of international students like myself. Beautiful landscapes and seascape that surround the campus presented endless possibilities for an inquisitive mind. The relaxed learning atmosphere enabled students to forge friendships and collaborations that have lasted and I treasure to this date.
Susan Chomba, a director at the World Resources Institute