Introducing Chandra Her - Policy Associate
Clean Energy, Climate, and Politics Journey
I first became interested in clean energy in my undergrad where a few of my core classes were on renewable energy. I really wanted out-of-the-classroom experiences, so I signed up for the first Intercollegiate Solar Spring Break offered by GRID Alternatives out of spontaneity. On this service trip, I installed solar panels for two Indigenous Households in Boulevard, CA (just outside of San Diego) while bonding with other college students from other universities. The following year, I studied abroad in North Rhine-Westphalia Germany with the Institute on the Environment in the Renewables Revolution Program for a short week. However, in preparation for this very intense week, I attended three crash-course weekend workshops on German and Minnesota politics. This workshop gave me a preview of the intricate partnership between climate and policy and thus sparking my newfound interests. While in my undergraduate program, I joined the CFANS Policy Engagement Program where we listened to various policymakers speak about their career journey.
I knew I wanted to go to graduate school to further my expertise in environmental policy since my interests in policy didn’t spark until my Senior year. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend the Humphrey School and further my policy journey. While in graduate school, I had the chance to attend the Conference of the Parties in 2022 hosted by Glasgow, Scotland. Many of the seminars I attended were related to climate policy and local government/communities. Attending COP26 has further validated my belief that impactful changes in climate action will and needs to happen locally.
In this role, I look forward to using my expertise from academia, seeing in action policy at the Capitol and how CEEM plays a role in the clean energy ecosystem.
Talking about myself is hard—but here I go! I was born and raised in Saint Paul, East St. Paul specifically. Though, in more recent years, I call most of the East Metro suburbs (North St. Paul) my home. I’m a two-time pandemic graduate (2020 and 2022!) from the University of Minnesota where I received my B.S. in Sustainable Systems Management and my M.S. in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. I am recently engaged to my longtime partner, and we have one dog Fred, and two cats Sylvie and Levi. I am the oldest daughter of five and come from a very close-knit family. Since I’ve recently graduated, I’ve been trying to figure out what I like to do for fun–now that I have the time. Currently, I love manageable Lego sets, retail therapy, tending to my houseplants and taking photos of myself and others for the ‘gram.
Fun Facts About Me:
- I’ve driven through every state West and directly South of Minnesota. (Hoping to tackle East next!)
- I’ve been to the highest mountain point in Thailand.
- I once waited 40 min to see former President Obama at COP26.