Brent Efron pictured outside of SPIA.

#PolicyProfile: Brent Efron MPA ’24

Nov 19 2022
By Brittany N. Murray
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

“I grew up in a reform Jewish community outside of Boston, and one thing we learned from a very young age in reform Hebrew school is something called “Tikkun Olam,” which translates to “repair of the world.” We learn that it's our duty to fix the problems of the world. That really stuck with me, and I think about it a lot when I see injustice or things that are broken. When I see bad things happening, I have a responsibility to do something. Most recently, I was able to do so by working for the Environmental Protection Agency as the Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for Policy. As young people, we grew up learning about climate change and seeing changes before our eyes.

The climate that I grew up with 15 or 20 years ago in Massachusetts isn't the climate that we have today. There's much less snow some years; there's more snow other years; extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters that we just didn't have in the past."
Brent Efron

"When I started working on political campaigns, I got to see communities that were really on the front lines of climate change, particularly in Iowa. Just three months before I moved to Council Bluff, Iowa, towns just 30 minutes south were just completely wiped off the map by a massive “hundred-year” flood. People fully lost their homes and had to move to the city that I was living in. These floods that used to come every 100 years or so now seem to occur on a yearly basis. And that's happening everywhere across the world now. More and more people are really experiencing the realities of a changing climate. I'm interested in how we prevent those things from happening and how we help communities adapt and prepare for those disasters. I learned so much from my colleagues at the EPA about environmental justice, climate adaptation, and environmental economics, and I got to work for people who were really fighting for the right thing and fighting to protect everyone in this country. There’s just something really special about being able to do that."

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