Executive Director


Harriet ShugarmanHarriet Shugarman

Like most of our Climate Mamas and Papas, Harriet has worn many hats over the course of her life. She has been a ski instructor in Western Canada, an orchard worker in Israel, and even a member of her college sky diving club!  A relatively new hat that Harriet is now proudly wearing, is that of award winning author. Her nationally recognized, multi- award winning book, How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change, Turning Angst into Action was published by New Society and is available everywhere books are sold! 

Professionally Harriet has spent most of her career working as a policy analyst and economist; early on with the Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario governments in Canada and later with the International Monetary Fund, as the Special Assistant to the Director of the United Nations Office in New York. Harriet was fortunate to travel the world and to meet many exciting, talented and committed individuals. Harriet worked on most of the big United Nations international conferences, including the first United Nations Earth Summit. Harriet followed many United Nations environmental and sustainable development committees for the IMF, at United Nations headquarters in New York and around the world, working on issues such as women in development and the United Nations sustainable development goals.

Harriet will tell you however that the most important hat she wears is one she put on in 1998 and continues to wear to this day, and that is Mom to her two children, Elliot and Alana. Becoming a mom heightened Harriet’s desire to find a way to make the world a better place not only for her children but for all the children around us, even the grown up ones. Through her work on climate education and advocacy Harriet has found positive and powerful ways to channel her passions to create opportunities that raise awareness and amplify diverse voices and actions on the most important challenge we will face in our lifetime - our climate crisis. With support from her incredible husband Andrew, Harriet is tackling this her own way, as she tackles all the challenges she takes on in her life.

In the spring of 2007 Harriet was selected from thousands of individuals across the country to participate in a training program conducted by Former Vice President Al Gore and sponsored by The Climate Reality Project. Harriet is one of the first 1000 individuals from around the world who have been personally trained by Mr. Gore to educate the public on climate change. Harriet is honored to be profiled in Mr. Gore's 2017 book, An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power and to have been personally presented by Mr. Gore with the Alfredo Sirkis Memorial Green Ring Award.  Harriet was the founder of the New York City Climate Reality Chapter and served as it's first chair. She continues to work closely with the Climate Reality Project and it's many leaders around the world. ClimateMama grew out of Harriet’s work with The Climate Reality Project, an organization she will be forever grateful to.

Harriet was a national organizer for the 2014 NYC Peoples Climate March, the September 2015 Moral March on Climate in Washington, DC, the Climate Justice Contingent for the 2017 Women March on Washington, and the 2017 Peoples Climate Movement March in Washington, DC. Harriet teaches Climate Change and Society - a class she created -  and World Sustainability, at Ramapo College of New Jersey.  On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22nd, 2020 the Human Impacts Institute and the New York City Department of Transportation opened an exhibit where Harriet is featured as one of 29 NYC Climate Heroes. (The exhibit is virtual for now, but the plan remains to have the Climate Heroes display line Broadway in New York City from Union Square to Time Square.) Harriet is the 2021 Waterspirit Suzanne Golas Awardee and a 2019 featured speaker at the Global Engagement Summit at United Nations Headquarters.  Harriet was chosen by Circle of Moms as one of the top 25 Eco-Friendly Moms and by Next Tribe, in their Women of the Year acknowledgements, as a Planet Protector. Harriet regularly writes for or is interviewed by a wide range of national and local media outlets and organizations including: Lifetime TV's The Balancing Act, Christian Science Monitor's Modern ParenthoodSafer Chemicals Healthy Families, MSNBC, The Global Team of 200, The Green Divas Podcast, Rodale News, Maria's Farm Country Kitchen, REI, Global News, Parents Magazine and the Healthy Child Healthy World Network. She is also featured regularly on podcasts and radio shows around the country and the world. To learn more about where Harriet will be and has been check out the author and press pages on this website.  As well, Harriet sits on various boards and actively supports the work of international, national and regional climate, justice and education organizations, including: WECAN's US Women's Climate Justice Initiative Steering Committee, Young Voices for the Planet,  Our Kids Climate, Network for Responsible Public Policy, Dear Tomorrow, Teach Climate and Climate Psychology North America. 

Harriet works with an exciting team of talented individuals, who regularly contribute to ClimateMama through advice, comments, guest blog posts and best practices.

Thank you for checking us out. We look forward to having you join us on our journey to make our world a safer, healthier, and more just home for all.