At a Glance

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson : Biography at a Glance

  • Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native.  She is a founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities.
  • She is also the co-creator of the Spotify/Gimlet podcast How to Save a Planet, on climate solutions.
  • She co-edited the bestselling climate anthology All We Can Save and co-founded The All We Can Save Project.
  • Recently, she co-authored the Blue New Deal, a roadmap for including the ocean in climate policy.
  • Previously, she was executive director of the Waitt Institute, developed policy at the EPA and NOAA, served as a leader of the March for Science, and taught as an adjunct professor at New York University.
  • Dr. Johnson earned a BA from Harvard University in environmental science and public policy, and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in marine biology. She publishes widely, including in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Scientific American.
Biography

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native.  She is a founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities, and co-creator and co-creator of the Spotify/Gimlet podcast How to Save a Planet, on climate solutions. She co-edited the bestselling climate anthology All We Can Save and co-founded The All We Can Save Project. Recently, she co-authored the Blue New Deal, a roadmap for including the ocean in climate policy. Previously, she was executive director of the Waitt Institute, developed policy at the EPA and NOAA, served as a leader of the March for Science, and taught as an adjunct professor at New York University. Dr. Johnson earned a BA from Harvard University in environmental science and public policy, and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in marine biology. She publishes widely, including in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Scientific American. She is on the 2021 Time 100 Next List and was named one of Elle’s 27 Women Leading on Climate. Outside magazine called her “the climate leader we need.”

Reviews

Ayana was really great, so pleased we could make it happen.

Apple

It went great! Ayana was fantastic and added such an insightful and important voice to the conversation.

Salesforce

Ayana in a word: incredible. She was so warm and engaging and real – the students loved her!

Stanford University

Ayana was fantastic! The conversation was informative and took on the serious topic in a responsible way, but it was also full of laughs and inspiration. She struck the perfect tone and our audience has been sharing glowing feedback with us all weekend.

The Connecticut Forum

Ayana was wonderful. The guests really enjoyed the conversation and it was very engaging.

Salesforce

Ayana was great and the audience loved her.

Surfrider Foundation

Ayana was a big hit! The event went so well.

Chicago Ideas Week

She was wonderful and we wish we could have had her for more time! 

Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE)

I just wanted to express our immense gratitude for Ayana! That was such a fantastic panel discussion. From the chat comments, the students and staff thoroughly enjoyed hearing from Ayana.

National Audubon Society & American Conservation Coalition Campus

It was so great! Ayana was wonderful as always - a really smooth process and we're already getting tons of positive feedback about the session. 

Intentional Endowments

Dr. Johnson did a fantastic job. Aside from being so very accomplished and intellectually compelling, she is a beautiful orator, poetic at times. We loved it!

The Hun School

We’ve received such great feedback about the event from students, faculty and staff and are so grateful for Dr. Johnson’s willingness to be part of it. 

University of California, San Diego
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