Alumni Spotlight: Naomi Ages ’01 - A Life in Environmental Activism 

Alumni Spotlight: Naomi Ages ’01 - A Life in Environmental Activism 

As part of our Alumni Spotlight Series, Gill St. Bernard's recently sat down with Naomi Ages, a GSB Class of 2001 alum, whose professional path has taken her from the pastoral, rolling acres of Gladstone to the dramatic mountain peaks and fjords of Norway.  

How did you land at GSB? When did you start? 

I attended Gill St. Bernard’s from 2nd through 12th Grade. My younger brothers (Justin ’03 and Sean ’05) followed in my footsteps. 

After GSB, I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature at Harvard University before securing a law degree from the University of Southern California. 

Do you have a favorite GSB memory?   

I did a lot at GSB because I truly loved the school! Some of my favorite memories include playing on the soccer and softball teams, editing the then-newspaper, The Fourth Estate, and organizing annual blood drives for the school community.  

What was your favorite class? 

I got a lot out of AP US History and (if I am remembering the name correctly; it has been a few decades) Comparative World Cultures my freshman year. 

Tell us a little about what your Spring Units were like and what you learned from them.  

When I was at GSB, the school’s motto was “The World is Our Classroom.” Freshman year, I was lucky enough to go to France because I was taking French. My senior year, almost my entire class went to Italy, which was an incredible experience.  

Getting to travel abroad when I was so young piqued my interest in living and working abroad. I remember walking around Rome and realizing that around every corner you could encounter buildings older than the United States.  

How did GSB prepare you for college and the working world? 

Thanks to GSB, I had a pretty good sense of who I was and who I wanted to be when I got to Harvard.  

I was able to explore my academic interests (everything from US history to biological anthropology) and get involved really quickly in community service and volunteer extracurriculars.   

A lot of my activism and social responsibility is traceable to GSB. As far back as the Lower School, we were encouraged to volunteer and given opportunities to do so. Doing community service felt like a part of the curriculum at GSB, as did learning about social and environmental issues. 

One thing that sunk in for me when I got to college was how lucky I was to have been part of GSB’s small, tight-knit community. There were only 34 people in my graduating class and about 120 in the whole school. My first class during my freshman year in college had 300 people! 

Tell us a little about what you do now: 

I currently live in Oslo, where I work as the Director of International Campaigns for Climate Catalyst, a nonprofit.  

I live in Oslo because my now-husband is a Norwegian journalist; we met when he was living in Washington, D.C., covering US politics. I was, as I predicted in a “What do you think you will be doing in 10 years?” exercise in 7th Grade at GSB, living in D.C. and directing Greenpeace’s Climate and Energy program. (My answer was “I’ll either still be in school (law school or PhD) or hopefully in Washington or working in law, somewhere”.)   

I’m lucky that I have a career that lets me utilize my law degree and pursue my passion for environmental action around the globe. 

What would be your advice to current GSB students be?   

It’s an enormous privilege to go to school at a place like GSB; take advantage of it. Try to be a good citizen of the school—and of the world. 

What are some hobbies you enjoy? 

I love hiking and skiing, so Norway is a pretty great place for me to live! However, the sun comes up before 4 a.m. in July, and goes down around 3 p.m. in January, which is extreme.  

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