In the context of International Women's Day, the Santiago Center has recognized three Chilean and three Peruvian noteworthy Columbia alumnae for their professional development and contribution to society.
Maisa Rojas (postdoctoral fellow at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, 2001) has been appointed Minister of the Environment by President-elect Gabriel Boric, both of whom will take office on March 11.
Maisa has worked as Director of the Center for Climate and Resilience Sciences (CR)2 and professor in the Department of Geophysics at Universidad de Chile – her alma mater from which she obtained a bachelor's degree in Physics, to then go on to obtain her PhD in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Oxford. In 2001 she specialized in climate modeling as a postdoctoral researcher at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at Columbia.
Worldwide, she is a leading climate change scientist who has served on the presidential council on climate change and agriculture. She was the lead author of the Paleoclimate chapter for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) fifth report (AR5), and is also a coordinating lead author for the next IPCC report (AR6).
She was the only scientific member of the Presidential Advisory Council for the COP25 summit in Chile, an event that was held in Spain after the social crisis that erupted in Chile. At that summit, she was the coordinator of the scientific committee.
Maisa has a bachelor's degree in Physics from Universidad de Chile and a PhD in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Oxford.