Conservation International VP of Climate Shyla Raghav Selected as IF/THEN Ambassador

September 9, 2019

(Photo: Nicholas Karlin)

Arlington, Va. (September 9, 2019) – Conservation International’s Vice President of Climate, Shyla Raghav, has been selected as one of the 125 AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) IF/THEN® Ambassadors. IF/THEN®, a national initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, seeks to further women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers.

Shyla Raghav, Conservation International's leading expert on the impact of climate change on people and nature, was selected to be an ambassador because of her work in influencing international climate policy for over a decade.

A former UN climate talks negotiator, Shyla was instrumental in the negotiations for the Paris Agreement, signed by 195 countries, and played a key role in ensuring nature-based solutions was a theme at the recent Global Climate Action Summit in California. She led the development of a carbon calculator that allows people to offset the carbon footprint in their everyday lives. She was named a “Badass Woman” by InStyle magazine and one of Grist magazine’s Top 50 Climate “Fixers.”

“I am so honored to have been chosen as an AAAS IF/THEN®Ambassador. My STEM background has been instrumental to my work on addressing the causes and impacts of climate change at Conservation International. I look forward to having the opportunity to support and inspire the next generation of women leaders, who are going to be on the frontlines of solving climate change,” said Shyla Raghav.

AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors were selected through a rigorous selection process. Candidates were evaluated for overall excellence with a focus on the following:

  • contributions to their STEM-related field, commensurate with their career stage;
  • demonstrated experience and abilities in STEM communication and public engagement via media, classroom, and public programs; and
  • commitment to inspiring middle-school girls to be the next generation of STEM pioneers.

In October, AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors will participate in the IF/THEN® Summit in Dallas to take their outreach to the next level by learning from each other and receiving resources and coaching in science communication and effective STEM storytelling. The IF/THEN® Collection, a digital asset library of photos and custom content, will be created as a tool to increase the number of accurate and powerful images of real women and girls in STEM. The robust collection can be accessed by media, educators and non-profit organizations as they develop and share inspiring content and curriculum.

“We firmly believe that IF we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world,” said Lyda Hill, founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “The goal of IF/THEN® is to shift the way our country—and the world—think about women in STEM and this requires changing the narratives about women STEM professionals and improving their visibility.”

To achieve this goal, AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors will connect with students in person and through various media platforms, including popular YouTube channels and network television shows. The Ambassadors are contemporary role models who represent a diversity of STEM-related professions in the United States, from entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia.

“AAAS is deeply committed to advancing education and opportunities for girls and women in STEM,” said Margaret Hamburg, chair of the AAAS Board of Directors. “This partnership enables us to reach more deeply into STEM education and help advance STEM careers for women and girls. It will help us to elevate the voices of women working in STEM fields and to inspire the next generation of girls and women in science.”

For a complete list of Ambassadors, go to www.ifthenshecan.org/ambassadors.

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “Drop in the Ocean”, “My Africa,” “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.” Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About IF/THEN

IF/THEN® is part of Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ commitment to fund game-changing advancements in science and nature. IF/THEN® seeks to further advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. Rooted in a firm belief that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models, IF/THEN® is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers by: (1) funding and elevating women in STEM as role models, (2) convening cross-sector partners in entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia to illuminate the importance of STEM everywhere, and (3) inspiring girls with better portrayals of women in STEM through media and learning experiences to pique their interest in STEM careers. To learn more, visit www.ifthenshecan.org or follow IF/THEN® on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About LYDA HILL PHILANTHROPIES

Lyda Hill Philanthropies encompasses the charitable giving of founder Lyda Hill who believes that “science is the answer” to life’s most challenging issues and is committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature. To learn more, visit www.lydahillphilanthropies.org.

About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement and more.