St Albans woman takes up climate change role

WORKING to pull countries out of poverty is all part of the day job for a former Oaklands College pupil who has been helping to tackle international climate change.

Hannah Ryder, who moved from Kenya to St Albans at the age of 10, has always been aware of environmental issues and as a child hoped one day she would be able to make a difference to other people’s lives.

And now the 31 year old has landed her dream job working in government as an economist, where only last month she personally briefed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at a the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

Hannah’s passion for environmental issues started when she went to visit her grandparents in Kenya after her family relocated to Watling View in St Albans.

She recalled: “The real time it made sense to me was the first time I went back to Kenya after coming over to St Albans.

“I went back to my grandparents place and there had been a lot of deforestation and my grandparents had lost a lot of cattle.

“It was seeing that and seeing they had no control over it. It made me want to work on these sorts of issues.”

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The trip inspired Hannah to take up economics at part of her International Baccalaureate studies at Oaklands College, and she then went on to read the subject at the University of Sussex.

After graduating she was lucky enough to secure a job working in the Department for International Development as a senior economist, where she now looks at how developing countries can grow their economies without harming the environment.

Hannah added: “I really feel I am in my dream job now. Every day is different, one day I could be speaking to one of our country’s offices in Ethiopia or Nigeria and helping them to grow.”

And when asked what she would say to other young aspiring economists she explained: “Obviously there is a lot of competition so study really hard and don’t close down your options. Keep going and keep your eye on the prize.”