Rebecca Herst (she/her) is the Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab (SSL) at UMass Boston, a research institute focused on climate justice. A leader in the climate adaptation field, Rebecca is working to ensure that anti-racist health promoting policies are central to climate resilience efforts. Under her leadership, SSL has developed a reputation as a respected source of expertise on both climate and social equity and for fostering relationships across fields in order to catalyze change. Her background as a community organizer informs her work as she brings faculty, adaptation professionals, and local leaders together.
Previously, Rebecca worked on climate resilience at Boston Harbor Now, Harvard University’s Office for Sustainability, and the Urban Land Institute. Her work has been covered in a wide variety of national and international news outlets including the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and the BBC. She has co-authored op-eds in the Boston Globe and shares her expertise at events locally.
She has an MBA from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Carleton College. In 2020, Rebecca was the recipient of the prestigious Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Award. Once every four years, this University of Massachusetts System-wide prize is awarded to a staff member or coach who leads “by serving, by giving, and by pointing the way.”