Mentorship Spotlight: Stay Connected amid COVID

Mentee Kristin Kelleher was impelled to enter the environmental field by watching the impact of sea-level rise on her hometown, and further developed her commitment to environmental policy while working as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts State House. After the intense storms of the winter of 2018, Kristin led the Massachusetts Businesses Acting on Rising Seas Campaign. She currently serves as the Vice Consul of Prosperity, Energy, and Climate Policy at the British Consulate in Boston. She received her master’s degree in Environment, Politics, and Globalisation from King’s College London, and her undergraduate degree in International Relations from GWU. Kristin is a Rotarian, a member of the Emerald Necklace Rose Garden Committee, and an Agenda Setter for the Climigration Network.  

Mentor Tancred Miller is the Policy & Planning Section Chief for the Division of Coastal Management, and the division’s lead on resilience and adaptation. Tancred leads the division’s work building local government capacity for climate hazards resilience, and coordinates the state’s Sea Level Rise Assessment Reports. He sits on Governor Cooper’s Climate Change Interagency Council, which was created to fulfill the Governor’s Executive Order 80 directives. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Morehouse College in Atlanta, and a Masters in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Tancred joined the Division of Coastal Management in 2003.

With the global pandemic, Kristin and Tancred have had to alter their working styles and communicate more with colleagues on the phone. Tancred still worked in the office up until the start of July. Kristin is fully remote, and has now turned her guest room into an office. Through the Mentorship Program, both have discussed best practices and tips for communicating with colleagues and catching up on work. Tancred is leading a program to support cities and towns in North Carolina to begin the process of planning for climate change resilience and adaptation practices. Kristin led an adaptation program, Businesses Acting on Rising Seas in Massachusetts in the summer of 2018, and shared the report.

Kristin is developing a national net-zero roadmap workshop through her role at the Consulate, and she has asked Tancred to share best practices he learned from developing his adaptation workshops. Tancred is an avid deep sea fisher. On a recent outing in September he caught a Wahoo, weighing in at 43 pounds. Tancred and his wife ended up having fresh sushi for dinner! After realizing that they live within a 5-minute drive of three lakes with public boat launches, Kristin and her fiance purchased kayaks during the pandemic. They’ve already found the great blue herons, turtles, and hawks during their adventures.

Thanks to both for sharing what they’ve learned!