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Meet Nora Li (Squires/Brabourne, 2009)

Date Posted: Thursday 26 January 2023

Nora (Yangyang) Li comes from Shanghai, China. She studied A-level in Ashford School, and graduated in 2009. Since then, Nora has moved to the United States, first to continue her studies, and then to launch her career in New York City.

Now a UN-Energy Specialist at Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), Nora helps drive progress on UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7): the effort to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. To further this effort, Nora provides strategic advice to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General about UN-Energy’s engagement with China, and has led multiple projects supporting stakeholders including UN member states, cities, private sector companies and NGOS.

15 years ago, Nora left home in China for the first time, and came to Ashford School as an international student. Her time at Ashford School brought her out of her comfort zone, and planted the seed of her passion to bridge the gap between society and sustainability. At Ashford, the EAL class with Mrs. Brentnall not only taught Nora a second language, but introduced her to a foreign culture. Mr. Stoddard’s Physics classes showed Nora how the universe works, and inspired young Nora to start exploring subjects on climate change and environmental protection. Nora’s creative friends at Ashford encouraged her to try (for the first time!) music, choir, drama and much more, all of which directly contributed to Nora’s decision to pursue a Fine Arts Major in her Undergrad. But most importantly, Nora is forever grateful for the faculty and staff at Ashford School, who encouraged her to be brave and chase her dreams fearlessly.

Nora holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Finance from Pepperdine University, and a Bachelor’s degree double major in Business Management and Fine Art from Brandeis University. She is currently an honorary ambassador and student of the ‘Financing and Deploying Clean Energy’ Program at Yale Center for Business and the Environment.

“One step at a time, you can change the world.” – My Dad