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Heather Henriksen, Chief Sustainability Officer

Office for Sustainability

Managing Director

Heather Henriksen has served as Harvard University’s inaugural chief sustainability officer since 2008, advising the President and senior leadership on Harvard’s University-wide sustainability strategy and building an organizational change enterprise. Heather leads the Office for Sustainability which oversees the comprehensive Sustainability Plan (co-created with faculty and students) and the University’s Climate Action Plan (to be fossil fuel-free by 2050 and fossil fuel-neutral by 2026), which builds upon the 2016 achievement of Harvard’s initial science-based climate goal.

The Office for Sustainability has expanded a multi-disciplinary living laboratory research program that partners with faculty and students to use the campus as a test bed for piloting and sharing innovative solutions to real-world sustainability challenges. A nationally recognized leader in healthier buildings and materials, Heather is leading an effort with faculty to translate research into practice, in partnership with business and non-profit leaders, to address the use of chemicals of concern in common building products, as well as more broadly addressing health and well-being in the built environment. Heather also advises courses throughout Harvard College and the professional graduate schools and speaks nationally and internationally on sustainability.  

Heather is on the Board of Directors of the International Living Future Institute and is an emeritus board member of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative. Heather serves as Advisory Committee Co-chair of the International Sustainable Campus Network, and she is a member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). She advises the Higher Education Working Group of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and is a member of the Sustainability Working Group for the Council of Ivy Presidents. Heather holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

  • Connect with Heather:  @H_Henriksen1
  • Listen to Part 1 or Part 2 of Heather’s conversation with Harvard College student Julian Rauter on the Sense & Sustainability podcast.

If you are interested in having Heather speak at your conference or event, please contact our Communications Director Carolyn Assa at