Past Member

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner is a poet of Marshall Islands ancestry. She achieved international acclaim through her performance at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014. Her writing and performances have been featured by CNN, Democracy Now!, The Huffington Post, and more. The University of Arizona Press published her first collection of poetry, Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter. She has created art installations and performances for the Honolulu Biennial, “Ae Kai: A Culture Lab on Convergence" presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and the ninth Asia Pacific Triennial in Australia. Kathy also co-founded and directs the Marshall Islands-based nonprofit Jo-Jikum, dedicated to empowering Marshallese youth to seek solutions to climate change and other environmental challenges threatening their home island. She has been selected as one of 13 Climate Warriors by Vogue in 2015 and the Impact Hero of the Year by Earth Company in 2017. She received a master’s in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.