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Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

    Professional affiliation

    Poet; Climate Envoy, the Republic of the Marshall Islands; Director, Jo-Jikum

    Full Biography

    Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner is a poet of Marshallese ancestry, born in the Marshall Islands and raised in Hawaiʻi. She received international acclaim through her poetry performance at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014. The University of Arizona Press published her collection of poetry, Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter in 2017. She has created art installations and performances with the Smithsonian and the Queensland Art Gallery, amongst others. In 2019, she was selected as an Obama Asia Pacific Leader Fellow and MIT Director’s Media Lab Fellow. She received her Master’s in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi, and is currently a PhD Candidate at Australia National University. Kathy serves as Climate Envoy for the Republic of the Marshall Islands government and as Director for the Marshall Islands-based youth environmental nonprofit Jo-Jikum.