Klein is a contributing editor for Harper’s, a reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. She is a member of the board at 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, and a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics.

“Presidents tend to go after big names for the sake of the big name for this kind of event,” said COA President Darron Collins, ’92. “At COA, the graduating class chooses the speaker and we ask them to choose based on who aligns best with our mission. They chose Naomi Klein.”

“It will take all kinds of people working together to move away from fossil fuels: hip-hop artists, financial analysts, writers, engineers, artists, TV meteorologists,” notes COA faculty member Doreen Stabinsky. “A COA education pushes students outside of boxes and disciplinary boundaries and gives them the skills, courage, and imagination to help tackle climate change. I can think of no one better suited to help celebrate our graduates’ success in this regard than Naomi Klein.”

The introduction to Klein’s book This Changes Everything opens with a quote by COA alumna Anjali Appadurai ’13, who participated in several United Nations global climate negotiations during her time as a student at the college. Appadurai and dozens of other COA students and alumni have developed Earth in Brackets, a powerful youth delegation at the annual UN climate meetings since 2005 and an important voice at the upcoming summit in Paris in December 2015. 



COA students take active roles in the youth climate movement both as participants in these global summits and also academically by confronting climate change across a diversity of approaches including physics, design, politics, and graphic arts. A large proportion of the college’s student body is involved in helping research, confront, and adapt to climate change, working on renewable energy systems, researching the impacts of a changing climate on ecosystems and human communities, and confronting world leaders at climate summits while contributing to an international movement of youth activists. It’s no wonder, then, that the graduating class chose Klein to help send them off to continue this work as graduates.

“COA has cut the edge of ecologically progressive education for over forty years – not because it was or is fashionable, but because that’s their mission,” Naomi Klein said about the College of the Atlantic. “I’m honored to meet the COA community and expect to be running into these graduates in the years to come.”

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit http://www.coa.edu.