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A new chapter for Climate Outreach: welcoming Dr Amiera Sawas, our new Programmes & Research Director

By Jamie Clarke on April 23, 2021

Dr Amiera Sawas (right) with Maria Saidy, ActionAid UK (centre) and Jean Mclean, ELHRA (left). Credit Amiera Sawas

Our team is our biggest asset, and we’re excited to see how our new Director of Programmes & Research, Dr Amiera Sawas, will help shape the direction of our organisation. She’ll be taking up the baton from Dr Adam Corner, who after 10 years is going freelance and will remain an Associate of Climate Outreach.

We are delighted that Dr Amiera Sawas has joined the Climate Outreach team as Director of Programmes and Research. Amiera will play a central role in guiding the strategic development of the organisation as set out in our Theory of change. She’ll be leading our work to mobilise social research, support climate advocates new and old, and promote the importance of public engagement. In addition to heading our Programmes and Research Department team, she’ll be a key member of our Senior Management Team.

Amiera has worked in South Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Africa. Her expertise in global participatory research and public engagement will be crucial to our expanding international work, as will her significant experience in climate change communication and policy making. Her focus on prioritising community engagement for climate action, combined with her feminist leadership qualities, are a great match for our organisational strategy and values – as we’ve known for a while since she’s been on our board of trustees!

I am absolutely passionate about Climate Outreach’s mandate. I have learned through my experience of research and programming, in climate change and intersecting issues, that there can be no societal shift towards a low carbon and resilient world without the buy-in and meaningful engagement of a wide range of stakeholders.”

Dr Amiera Sawas

Amiera takes over the role from Dr Adam Corner, who after 10 years of being a truly integral part of the development of our organisation, has shifted to an Associate role with Climate Outreach. Adam has become a globally recognised leader on climate change public engagement and has not only been central to our organisation but more widely to the recognition of evidence-based public engagement as a key component of climate action. 

His portfolio of transformational projects is extensive and includes leading much of our early work on overcoming polarisation and developing and delivering the original Climate Visuals programme, as well as lead-authoring Talking Climate and being central to the creation of the CAST centre. The entire Climate Outreach team wants to thank Adam for all his dedication, expertise and quizzes over the years – we’re very glad he isn’t going far! 

You can follow them both on twitter – @amiera_tales and @AJCorner – and if you’d like to get in contact with Amiera, do contact her via [email protected] 

By Jamie Clarke

Jamie has led Climate Outreach since 2013, steering its growth into an internationally acclaimed organisation. As a values-based leader, he  provides strategic direction with an empathetic management approach and has extensive governance experience. He is a proven international speaker and considered writer who feels as comfortable addressing the UNFCCC as co-authoring books such as Talking Climate. In his studies as a social scientist, he focused on participatory processes at the nexus of societal and environmental issues. Undertaking extensive research in the Pantanal region of Brazil crystalised his understanding of centrality of effective citizen engagement in change processes.  

Passionate about widening engagement with climate change, he has previously worked for advocacy organisations including Amnesty International UK and Practical Action. In these roles he saw how difficult it is for many people to connect with climate change narratives, and how this often underpins apathy and opposition.  Determined to address this and the largely under-recognised role that the wider public has in tackling climate change, he previously led a successful youth climate outreach programme that targeted marginalised students studying vocational courses. Jamie lived for many years on a canal boat but now lives on terra firma in Oxford with his family and is rarely off a bicycle.

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