Sierawski’s Pursuit to Combat Climate Change Reflects Proposal in Scholarship Application

by Jonathan Jones (NE ’04)

sierawskiIn Clare
Sierawski’s (PA ’04) Truman application policy proposal, she proposed a
bilateral agreement between the United States and China on climate change.  As the Special Assistant to the Special Envoy
for Climate Change, Sierawski pursued this vision and helped to develop the
first official bilateral agreement between the United States and China on
climate change. “It was amazing to implement my policy proposal and be a part
of something so historic,” Sierawski said.

In between
her first and second year in the MPA program at the Woodrow Wilson School of
Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Sierawski was offered
a job at the State Department to work on the international climate change
team.  Her work on the team soon led to
her role as the Special Assistant to the Special Envoy for Climate Change – a
position established by the Obama administration.   For Sierawski, this was a major step in
achieving her career goals.  “Since my
days as an undergraduate climate activist, it was one of my dreams to work for
the government on our international climate change policy,” Sierawski
explained. 

The Truman
Scholar experience has been important in shaping Sierawski’s vision and path on
the issue of climate change.  As a recent
graduate, Sierwaski worked as a Truman Fellow at the Department of
Transportation on its climate change portfolio. 
“As a Truman Fellow at DOT, I was able to deepen my understanding of climate
change policy, as well as meet the people working on climate change at the
State Department, which is in part how I was later offered my job at State,”
she said.

Sierawski believes
that the Truman community has a powerful role to play in helping its members
meet their career goals and aspirations for positive change.  “Most of us have a real and burning passion
for a particular social issue or change that we want to see in our world,” she
said. “At some point, however, the reality hits that it can be extremely
difficult to affect even the most incremental change. This is where the Truman
community comes in – we can inspire, guide and support each other to realize
our goals.”  She added, “The values of
the Truman Scholarship and knowing amazing Trumans inspires me to keep going
and continually reminds me of the importance of public service.” 

As Sierawski
returns to the Woodrow Wilson School this fall to finish her MPA degree, fellow
Truman Scholar, Kelley Greenman (FL ’08), will be taking her place as Special
Assistant to the Special Envoy on Climate Change.  At a regular meeting that the Truman
Foundation hosts for recently graduated Scholars, Sierawski spoke about working
on climate change at the State Department. 
Greenman was in attendance. 
“Kelley was interested in working more directly on climate change and
wanted to explore the international side of the issue. When I was looking for a
replacement, I knew that she would be perfect for the job,” Sierawski said. 

While at
graduate school, Sierawski will continue to study climate change issues and
consider how to push forward energy efficient policies and climate change
legislation.  She is also interested in
developing an informal Truman community around the issue.  Please contact her if you are interested
and/or already work on the issue of climate change policy –
claresophia@gmail.com.

Jonathan Jones (NE ’04) is pursuing
his MPP at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of
Chicago.

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