Board Member Profiles
Dazzle Bhujwala is Managing Director with KPMG’s Deal Advisory and Strategy practice. He advises global private equity and asset management firms on ESG, Decarbonization strategy and implementation. He brings over 20 years of international experience in ESG and investment advisory. Over the years, Dazzle has worked with institutional investors to advance sustainable investments, helped asset owners and managers to assess climate risks and opportunities, drive value through ESG integration, and has been part of efforts to define ESG measurement and reporting standards. Dazzle joined KPMG from the Ceres’ Investor Network where he influenced and supported the largest and the most influential North American pension funds and asset managers to design and implement Climate Action Plans. While at Ceres, he was credited for creating and leading the world’s largest private equity working group on climate initiatives, and the report - The Changing Climate for Private Equity, conceptualized and co-led by him, has been acknowledged by the Biden Administration. Prior to Ceres, he held roles at UBS, Bank Muscat, HSBC and ICICI Bank. Dazzle holds a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and an MBA from Gujarat University, India.
Wendy Hapgood is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Wild Tomorrow Fund, a wildlife conservation charity dedicated to protecting and restoring our planet’s threatened biodiversity. Since its founding in 2015, Wild Tomorrow has permanently protected 3,200 acres of habitat in a global biodiversity hotspot in southern Africa, creating a wildlife corridor that reconnects two existing protected areas including a UNESCO World Heritage Park. Before changing careers and launching Wild Tomorrow Fund, Wendy led projects across a wide spectrum of issues from conservation to community health and technology implementation in both the public and private sectors, with a 10-year focus on electronic trading in the capital markets where she led global sales teams for Barclays Capital and Citibank. Today, Wendy is delighted to leverage these business skills to instead ‘sell’ the benefits of protecting the natural world. Wendy is an adjunct Professor at Columbia University, where she teaches in the Master of Sustainability Management Program. She is an alumnus of the SUMA program and holds a Master of International Relations (Asian Politics), a BA (Japanese) and a B.Eng (Electrical and Computer Systems) from the University of Queensland, Australia.
Eileen McGinnis is currently the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of CMC Energy Services, one of the country’s largest women-owned energy services company with offices in 8 states with over 350 employees. She is responsible for furthering CMC’s mission to deliver energy savings to households and businesses through energy efficiency programs that deliver broad economic, environmental, public health and employment benefits. Prior to her appointment as Chair, McGinnis served as CEO and President of the company for ten years. During her tenure, CMC tripled in size while maintaining its commitment to providing innovative, cost-effective methods to conserve energy. McGinnis has held top policy, regulatory and management positions in state and federal governments over two decades prior to entering the private sector. These include Chief of Staff to the Administrator of the US EPA where she managed the office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Communications and Policy, as well as Economics and Innovation. She also directed and coordinated the activities of EPA’s 10 regional offices. As Chief of Policy in New Jersey’s Office of the Governor, she was responsible for the planning and implementation of major government initiatives across state government including land preservation, education reform, and development of one of the country’s first renewable portfolio standards. She also managed the State’s first Quality of Life Report to outline to the public what State agencies were doing to implement plans for a Sustainable New Jersey. McGinnis successfully completed a program designed for leaders in public service at Princeton University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she earned a Master in Public Policy and a Certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy. She is a graduate of Goucher College in Townson, MD.
Kurt Vogt has over 30 years of banking experience. Most of his career was at Citi, where he held managerial positions in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Monterrey, and New York from where he led Citi’s Corporate Banking business in Latin America. He later joined HSBC Latin America where he led the Sustainable Finance business and positioned the bank as a lead placement agent for green, social, and sustainable bonds in the region. In 2017, Kurt founded HPL LLC, a sustainable finance advisory firm focused on institutional clients. Kurt recently joined the Board of Directors of the LAGREEN Lux SICAV Fund, a green bond fund focused on Latin America. He is also a member of the advisory board of Birdlife International, an organization in 120 countries striving to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity. Kurt received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana (1984), an MBA from Harvard Business School (1987) and a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University (2017).
Dr. Susan Blaumstien
Dr. Susan M. Blaustein is the Founder and Director of WomenStrong International, a global non-profit that finds, funds, strengthens, and shares women-driven solutions that will transform lives in urban communities and advance the rights and wellbeing of women and girls worldwide. Prior to establishing WomenStrong, Dr. Blaustein was Co-Founder/Director of The Millennium Cities Initiative, a 12-year sustainable urban development project of The Earth Institute at Columbia University working across the sub-Saharan region. Before her work at The Earth Institute, Dr. Blaustein was a senior consultant and analyst with the International Crisis Group and the Coalition for International Justice, where she worked on conflict- prevention and accountability for gross human rights abuses; she reported on conflict, politics, economics, and social injustice from the Balkans, Southeast Asia, and Washington, DC, for such publications as The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic and served previously as Assistant Professor at Columbia University, where she now teaches in the Sustainability Management Program. Dr. Blaustein’s doctorate is from Yale University, she was a Harvard Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, a Guggenheim Fellow, and the recipient of multiple awards, including from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Arts, and Women’s e-News, which recently honored Dr. Blaustein as one of “21 Leaders for the 21 st Century.”
Shaun Hoyte is a sustainability professional focused on addressing climate-related risks and identifying the impacts and opportunities they create for our communities. Based in New York City, Hoyte brings over 15 years of experience in the energy and utilities sector and combines deep hands-on industry knowledge with technical expertise to design energy efficiency programs that maximize revenue and societal benefits. In his current role as Head of Clean Energy Networks at Con Edison, Hoyte provides strategic oversight and leadership geared toward the cultivation of cross-sector industry partnerships to spur market transformation and advance an equitable clean energy economy. In recognition of his diverse market knowledge and exemplary performance, Hoyte was named as Con Edison’s honoree for the 2022 Harlem YMCA Achievers in Industry (bai) Award and has been selected to join the 2022-23 Coro Leadership New York program. Shaun holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from Manhattan College, where he graduated with honors. He earned his master’s degree in Sustainability from Columbia University, where he is a lecturer in the Integrative Capstone Workshop. Hoyte is a member of the board of directors of the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) and is the vice-chair of the Alumni Advisory Board of the School of Professional Studies where he was the recipient of the 2020 Alumni Dean’s Excellence Award.
James Ossman is Vice President of Marketplace Initiatives and Strategic Sourcing at Etsy, the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. In this capacity, he is responsible for environmental impact efforts in Etsy’s marketplace and enterprise level purchasing across Etsy’s House of Brands. In 2020 and 2021, James led Etsy’s response to COVID19 and its Future of Work program. Prior to this he oversaw Etsy’s global operations and real estate strategy. James was named a First Mover Fellow by the Aspen Institute in 2020, a Fellowship for leaders generating business value alongside meaningful social and environmental impact. Previously, James worked at The Earth Institute at Columbia University helping companies, governments, and UN agencies to implement economic development research and programs. He holds a bachelor's degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and an MA in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. James lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters.
Sally Paridis is a senior sustainability industry expert with 15 years experience. Sally founded a life cycle analysis consulting group, CoClear, Inc, www.coclear.co working closely with Columbia University on patented technology to develop a fast LCA platform and interactive app. Clients include Ben and Jerry’s and Nike. Sally founded and served as Global Vice Chair of the Advance Green Network – an international network of expatriate Australians working in the “green sector” - to advise Australian policy makers and the first Department of Climate Change. Together with her Life Cycle Analysis professor from Columbia, Dr Christoph Meinrenken, Sally performed analysis and research on the first global collection of product data collected by CDP 2013-2018. She co-authored the 2020 Nature publication, “Carbon emissions embodied in product value chains and the role of Life Cycle Assessment in curbing them”, 10 April 2020 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-62030-x. An entrepreneurial thinker with a clear vision for a reduced carbon future Sally has strong networks and international experience in a wide variety of areas in sustainability, as well as a law degree from Sydney University and admission as a Barrister in New South Wales. Sally is energized by strategic thinking, team management, client services, communicating company initiatives, tracing carbon impacts in supply chains and developing research and analysis.
Guo Dong is the Associate Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at Columbia University, where he also serves as an associate research scholar. Guo is an adjunct faculty at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and the School of Professional Studies, where he has been teaching graduate-level courses in Microeconomic Policy and Analysis and Sustainability Metrics. He is also a senior advisor for recruitment at the School of Professional Studies, and formerly served as the director of the Earth Institute China Initiative at Columbia University. Guo is a non-resident fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York, and has consulted for Philips Co. and The State Grid Corporation of China on sustainability. Guo has taught courses at the prestigious Tsinghua University and Peking University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, as well as Henan University in China. Guo helped design an urban sustainability measurement system which produces annual rankings of 100 Chinese cities based on their sustainability performance. He has co-edited Blue Books on Sustainable Development in China, co-authored The Financial Ecosystem — the Role of Finance in Advancing Sustainability (with Satyajit Bose and Anne Simpson) and The Sustainable City, 2 nd Edition (with Steven Cohen). Guo Graduated from Columbia University Teachers College with a Ph.D. in Economics and Education, and received his MPA from Columbia, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Economics from University College London.
Jim is Managing Partner of Gravitas Americas LLC, a boutique firm focused on effecting positive outcomes through impact investing and ESG advisory services. Prior to founding Gravitas Americas, Jim held positions at Citizens Financial Group from 2012 to 2018 as Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and CEO of Citizens Capital Markets, Inc., and worked at other leading financial firms earlier in his career. Jim has co-founded and serves on the boards of several private companies and his volunteer activities include Co-Chair of Sustainable Westchester, Inc. and Director of Climate RIde. Jim holds an MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, an MBA in Financial Management from Duke University, and a BA in Economics from Davidson College.
Curtis Probst is the CEO of New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation. NYCEEC is a public-private-philanthropic partnership that finances energy efficiency and clean energy projects in New York City and the surrounding region, with a focus on disadvantaged communities. Before joining NYCEEC in 2018, he was a Managing Director and the Head of Sustainable Finance for RMI. Previously, Curtis worked in investment banking for over 24 years. Most recently, he was a Managing Director and the Head of Corporate Structured Finance at Goldman Sachs where he worked for 15 years. Before joining Goldman Sachs, he worked at Salomon Brothers for over eight years. Since 2016, Curtis has also been an adjunct faculty member of Columbia University where he teaches a graduate level course on clean energy finance. In addition to his other professional activities, Curtis has held board positions at several organizations and has spoken on sustainability and finance at numerous events. Curtis received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.