Erin Matson’s journey started with an interest in farming and environmental conservation. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in South Asian languages and civilizations, she began a career in urban farming, co-founding Creciendo Farms, an urban farm bringing fresh local produce to markets in the Chicagoland area.
Erin’s work in urban farming inspired her to look for ways of having a global impact on the environment, leading her to enter the global environmental policy program at American University’s School of International Service.
Erin's first summer managing a farm site in 2013: Rodeo Farm in Chicago's south-west side
Now Erin is a senior consultant at Climate Focus, a small firm committed to developing policies and projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At Climate Focus, Erin co-leads a team working on the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), a voluntary international declaration developed with the aim of ending deforestation by 2030. Her team works to integrate forests into international climate change action and their work is often cited in global reports—last year the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ publication “The State of the World’s Forests” included five citations to their work on the NYDF.
It has been over ten years since Erin participated in the CLS Program in Jaipur, India, but she still credits the experience for helping her to internationalize her career.
“I am now at a point where I am coordinating a global effort. Having the foundation of an international mindset that I gained on CLS helped set me up for success.”
April 22, 2021