Karissa Kovner '93 will be a featured speaker in the Leading Innovation and Entrepreneurship speaker series on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 2 p.m. in Harris Cinema. The Donald and Winifred Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership is sponsoring the speaker series and associated course.

Karissa (Ris) Taylor Kovner ’93 is a senior policy advisor for International Affairs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. Karissa has 20 years of negotiation and management experience in the trade and environment arena, specializing in international environmental policy and the negotiation of both multilateral environmental agreements and global, regional, and bilateral trade agreements. Her current focus at EPA is in the area of international chemicals management, particularly with respect to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (PIC), the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and other multilateral agreements, conventions, and institutions that manage chemicals and pesticides at the international level.  Prior to her current job, Karissa served in two director positions for the Executive Office of the President, first in the Office of Environment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the other in USTR’s Office of WTO and Multilateral Affairs. She has also served in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and was a recipient of a Presidential Management Fellowship.

Karissa currently holds an undergraduate degree from Grinnell in French, is fluent in Italian, and received a master's from The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), with concentrations in International Economics and International Environmental and Energy Policy. 


Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

This venue is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program.

The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases, the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

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