Q&A with Martha Heitzmann

1 min read

Martha Heitzmann, Ph.D. ’97, is the senior executive vice president of research and innovation at Areva Group, a French energy company that specializes in nuclear power.

She describes herself as a “hybrid” of cultures and disciplines, “a dedicated environmentalist who is pursuing a career in heavy industry.”

Heitzmann earned a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. After serving as an environmental policy intern for then-Sen. Al Gore, she moved to the Marshall Islands at age 22 to help build up an Environmental Protection Authority.

During her two years in the Pacific region (including a year working with the Asian Development Bank), she developed a new interest in finding technologies and economic strategies that would permit the sustainable use of natural resources.

That interest brought her to Harvard, where she earned a Ph.D. in environmental and chemical engineering. While here, she met her husband, who is French, and they now live in France with their three children.

Prior to joining Areva, Heitzmann has held positions with the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Suez Environnement, and Air Liquide.