EARTHDAY.ORG Appoints New Director of Global Education to Lead Global Climate Literacy Campaign
January 10, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – EARTHDAY.ORG has appointed Dr. Matthew Aruch as Director of Global Education to lead EARTHDAY.ORG’s globally recognized environment and climate literacy campaigns and programs. With education at the core of its mission, EDO is one of the leading organizations driving awareness and action to engage governments, multilaterals, and funding agencies to support global climate and environmental literacy. EDO believes climate literacy is at the center of the effort to solve the climate crisis and to build a revolutionary and equitable green economy. EDO’s Climate Literacy Campaign is driving worldwide political interest and activism around climate and environmental education, engaging a diverse set of stakeholders including universities, teachers and other labor unions, and private businesses. EDO has elevated climate literacy to prominence in the media, at global conferences, and with world leaders.
“Every economic revolution in the last two hundred years included a massive investment in education from the industrial revolution, the space race, and the tech revolution. Similarly, Earth Day in 1970 started as a national teach-in, designed to educate youth about the environment and to inspire action and the first act that Congress passed after that first Earth Day was the National Environmental Education Act. Yet, in the intervening years, environmental education has not been a priority until now, leaving low resource countries and communities out of the green revolution. So today, with those first Earth Day teach-ins in mind, our goal is to ensure that every country creates climate and environmental education without which we cannot solve climate change nor build an equitable green economy. We are excited and honored to have Matthew join the EARTHDAY.ORG education team to build upon our successful campaign and lead it to a new level,” said Kathleen Rogers, President, EARTHDAY.ORG.
Before joining EARTHDAY.ORG, he was the Assistant Director of the College Park Scholars Science, Technology, and Society Program and Senior Lecturer in the A. James Clark Engineering School. Matthew has worked with organizations at the intersection of education and the environment including George Washington University, the Protected Forest Association (Brazil), The University of Cuenca (Ecuador), The InterAmerican Development Bank, Boston Public Schools Office of English Language Learners, the National Environmental Education Foundation, and Alexandria City Public Schools.
Matthew earned a PhD in International Education Policy from the University of Maryland College Park. As a Fulbright scholar, he researched transnational, multi-sectoral research and education partnerships for sustainable development with the Mebêngôkre-Kayapó in the Brazilian Amazon. He earned master’s degrees in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Elementary Education from Mary Washington College (MWC) as well as a bachelor’s degree in Biology from MWC.
“As a movement, Earth Day is particularly important for inclusive participation, dialogue, and action to address global environmental challenges. I look forward to collaborating with EDO’s diverse network of allies to build on the success of the Climate Literacy Campaign and other EDO initiatives. With EARTHDAY.ORG’s platform, I plan to apply my professional and academic experiences in global education and my passion for environmental justice and sustainability to advance climate literacy for all,” said Dr. Matthew Aruch, Director of Global Education, EARTHDAY.ORG.
Among the many recent campaign successes is the substantial movement on climate literacy at the recent annual Conference of the Parties for the Paris Agreement (COP26). At the U.N. Climate Change Conference, climate literacy received interest from youth, governments, and civil society organizations. EARTHDAY.ORG supported the creation of the youth-driven Declaration for Climate Education. This document was formally presented to Italy’s Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, bringing climate education directly into the agenda. The UK Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi announced measures for climate education in the UK. Measures will include climate education curriculum support for teachers, with the goal to teach students about nature and their impact on the environment. EARTHDAY.ORG directly influenced the official Conclusions of the Education and Environment Ministers Summit at COP26. The official text of the document includes specific language to commit to integrate sustainability and climate change “in formal education systems, including as core curriculum components, in guidelines, teacher training, examination standards and at multiple levels through institutions.”
EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Learn more at earthday.org.