Angela Burnett Penn

The Irma Diaries
Author and Climate Change Specialist

Angela Burnett was born and raised in The Virgin Islands (UK).  Her passion for the smart development of the Territory led her to pursue a career in environmental management. In 2007 she graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development. Angela also holds a Master of City and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.) degree from Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

Her primary goal as an environmental manager and planner is to promote sustainable and progressive communities that balance environmental, social and economic goals and that are resilient to climate change.

Angela served with the Government of The Virgin Islands as the Territory’s Climate Change Officer from 2008 to 2019. In this role she authored the Territory’s first Climate Change Policy, helped design and manage local adaptation projects, helped lead development of The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund, established the Territory’s Climate Change Committee, conducted a vulnerability and capacity assessment of the tourism sector to climate change and designed and implemented public education programming.

In addition to the climate change programme, during her time with Government, Angela worked on several national planning, policy and legislative initiatives, including the National Physical Development Plan. She also developed the local Green Pledge Programme that encourages adoption of environmentally friendly practices across the private sector and Government.

Angela currently serves as the Climate Change Coordinator of Saint Lucia’s Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) which seeks to build the country’s resilience to climate change through a diverse portfolio of over 100 activities.

In her private capacity, Angela has spearheaded a local community environmental group and was an active member of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). Having recently lived through the devastation of Category 5 Hurricane Irma, Angela felt obliged to act on a global stage in the fight against climate change. As such, she authored “The Irma Diaries: Compelling Survivor Stories from The Virgin Islands” as an avenue for the voices of small islanders who lived through this horrific event to be heard globally to help people connect more personally to the impacts of climate change and resolve to act.