Madi Vorva

Michigan Sustainability Cases Community Engagement Specialist, University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability

Madison Vorva is a youth engagement and sustainability strategist. At 16, she was honored as a United Nations “Forest Hero” for leading a successful eight-year campaign to get Girl Scouts USA to source responsible palm oil in its cookies. Partnering with Climate Advisers, the Rainforest Action Network, the Packard Foundation and the Union of Concerned Scientists, she grew her middle school project to a national media campaign that reached 10 million consumers. In 2014, Girl Scout cookie baker Kellogg, Cargill (largest US palm oil supplier) and Wilmar (trader of 45% of the world’s palm oil) adopted deforestation-free commitments. Over the years, she has traveled to 10 countries, exploring the politics and economics of different environmental development conflicts.

Madi is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Pomona College, where she majored in environmental analysis. Her college activities included serving on the State Farm Youth Advisory board which funded thousands of youth-led service projects with its $10 million budget. Additionally, she hosted “FabLab,” a STEM education TV show airing nationwide on FOX affiliate stations. Notable shoots include the White House Science Fair, COP 21 UN Paris Climate Negotiations and the Women’s March Los Angeles. At ESRI, Madi designed GIS-based environmental science curriculum for Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots “Compassionate Leadership Through Service Learning” MOOC. In 2017, Madi was appointed as the Roots & Shoots Chair on the Board of Directors of the Jane Goodall Institute. She is a NAAEE 30 Under 30 Leader in Environmental Education and recipient of Mount Vernon’s inaugural Leadership Fellowship and the Udall Congressional Scholarship.

Today, Madi works in the edtech field as the Community Engagement Specialist at the University of Michigan’s Sustainability Case Team. This fall as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar, Madi will attend the University of Cambridge to earn her master’s degree in environmental policy.

Her story: