Shamar Bibbins

MC/MPA 2024
Roy and Lila Ash Scholarship in Democracy Recipient

Headshot of Shamar Bibbins wearing a blue shirt against a blue background

Shamar Amirh Bibbins is a MC/MPA student at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is an innovative philanthropic leader with expertise in environmental and climate justice, equitable climate change policy, and economic inclusion within the non-profit sector. Shamar partners with environmental NGOs, public health practitioners and institutions, public sector allies, and community and grassroots leaders across the United States to support efforts that influence local, state, and federal climate planning and policy development and implementation to directly benefit communities of color and other groups disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution and historically underrepresented in policy development.

Since 2014, Shamar has served as a senior program officer for the environment program at the Kresge Foundation, a private, U.S.-based foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing. While at Kresge, Shamar oversaw the successful implementation of the Foundation’s Climate Change, Health, and Equity Initiative, a $23 million, multi-year national partnership between Kresge’s Environment and Health programs that addresses the intersecting imperatives of the impacts of climate change on human health. Shamar’s grantmaking also supports efforts that advance diversity, equity, racial justice, and inclusion in the environmental nonprofit and philanthropic fields.

Prior to Kresge, she served as Director of National Partnerships at Green for All, a national, U.S-based nonprofit organization dedicated to building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

Shamar earned a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, and society from Vassar College, where she received distinction on her senior thesis, Race, Class, and Environment. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Japan, where she conducted field research on the environmental and social implications of unprecedented mercury dumping in Minamata Bay in Kyushu, Japan.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Shamar is inspired and guided by a deep belief in the power to effect change. The years she spent studying social movements and environmental law fueled her pursuit of a career in public policy that would improve the health and well-being of underrepresented groups across the globe by addressing structural changes to environmental and economic policies. She serves on the Board of Directors of Community Wealth Partners in Washington, D.C., and is a Philanthropic Trustee of The Solutions Project in Oakland, California. She is a yogi, and enjoys hiking, running, writing, ocean views, and listening to live music.