Samantha J Smith

Director, Just Transition Centre

Samantha Smith is a lawyer by training and a passionate climate advocate by choice. As the leader of the WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative, she leads from the front to influence global policy and actions related to climate change and energy.

She has worked on climate change issues for several decades, starting her professional career as a corporate litigation attorney in the US, with an emphasis on securities and environmental matters. A move to Norway led her to join one of the world’s largest environmental organisations, WWF. As director of its Arctic programme, she spent a decade observing and experiencing the impact of climate change first-hand. She moved into the private sector for a period, working in senior positions for the Norwegian energy company Statoil within its New Energy division, developing wind power and CO2 projects.

The pull of environmental activism beckoned and she re-joined WWF in 2011 as the leader of its newly-established Global Climate & Energy Initiative. Through this programme, WWF aims to help build a political alliance which will implement the essential cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to ensure global warming does not exceed 2°C. In this position, Ms Smith has represented the WWF in many high-level processes and media.

Ms. Smith has degrees in history and law from the University of California, Berkeley. She has participated in numerous expert groups and task forces, and received awards for community service and academic achievement.