We caught up with Brittany Janis ’03 as she starts a brand new chapter in her life. We connected as she was in the process of moving from California to Cambridge, where she will pursue her second master’s degree. This master’s will be in public administration and, after being accepted at every school to which she applied, she will attend Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
After graduating from CWRU in 2007, Brittany worked on political campaigns for Sherrod Brown and Armond Budish. In 2008, she moved to New York and began working in the public benefit sector. She has been working in the nonprofit space ever since and, in 2012, earned her master’s in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.
For the past 10 years, she has been working to support causes she cares about – from arts education to the environment. Most recently, she worked as a major gifts officer for the Environmental Defense Fund. In her free time, she volunteered as a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and served as the Bay Area Chapter President from 2015-2017.
This next degree will allow her to shift to a role in which she advises how capital can be strategically deployed to bring about the greatest social and environmental impact. Brittany said, “Annually, only two percent of the US GDP is spent philanthropically. While that philanthropy is critical, there is still a large gap between that support and the amount of capital needed to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.”
When asked how her GA experience helped shape her, Brittany said, “My Gilmour education was foundational to who I am as a person. I have chosen my career path in part because I want to do what I can to create a more humane and just society.” She added that, while she might be biased, she believes that there is no way she would be where she is today without the speech and debate program. She explained, “As a debater I learned about so many of the systemic challenges our society faces, and the importance of being an educated and involved citizen. It gave me the confidence to speak my mind and the conviction that I could make a difference.”
We are confident that Brittany will continue to use her talents to bring about change. Best of luck in Cambridge, Brittany!