Meet the Board of Directors — Victoria Herrmann

Victoria Herrmann

Victoria Herrmann was elected to the ARCUS Board of Directors in 2018 and her term expires in 2021. She also serves as a member of the Membership Development Committee.

Dr. Victoria Herrmann is the President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Arctic security research. In her day-to-day work, she leads a team of 30 young scholars across North America, Europe, and Asia in research and capacity building projects on energy, climate, maritime, economic, and societal security issues. This type of transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary Arctic research, that allows us to collaborate across so many boundaries, is why Victoria was first drawn to Polar Studies. Although fostering inclusivity in research communities is a continual pursuit, the Arctic research community's diversity of knowledges, generations, and geography means that being an Arctic researcher is to be a lifelong learner and listener. The collaboration, experiences, and friendships she has made over the past five years as part of the Arctic research community is why she joined the ARCUS Board. ARCUS provides the support not only for professional development and research communication for Arctic scholars and knowledge holders, but also a strong network for early career and established researchers to connect and collaborate.

Though she thoroughly enjoys her Arctic family, Victoria also works with coastal communities in the Lower 48 and U.S. territories on climate change adaptation as a National Geographic Explorer. In 2016 and 2017, as lead researcher for America's Eroding Edges project, she traveled across the country interviewing more than 350 local leaders to identify what is needed most to safeguard coastal communities against the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Her current project, Rise Up to Rising Tides, is creating an online matchmaking platform that connects pro bono experts with climate-affected communities. Supported by the J.M.K Innovation Prize ( and partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, her ongoing project seeks to safeguard heritage by connecting national expertise to some of the 13 million Americans at risk of being displaced due to rising waters in the coming years.

In her free time, Victoria teaches sustainability at American University and science communication at the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland, and takes long walks with her dog Atlas. She was previously a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, a Fulbright Canada Awardee, a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, and a Gates Scholar at the Cambridge University, where she received her PhD in Geography.