The M.S. in Sustainability Management recently graduated its 800th student, expanding a formidable network of sustainability professionals in eight years. Some 75% of our alumni hold sustainability positions in the private sector, while the remaining 25% are employed in government and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. Some of the organizations that employ our graduates include the following.
Clinton Global Initiative
Ernst and Young
Natural Resources Defense Council
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
San Francisco Department of the Environment
United Nations Global Compact
World Bank Group
WATCH TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR ALUMNI
Learn how Sustainability Management alumni are using the skills that they gained while in the program to transform the field of sustainability management. Hear from them about the professional network they build while in the program, and how alumni have used the network to advance their careers.
Pooja Chawda ('20) currently works for NYSERDA, analyzing regulatory landscapes to support the development of policies and strategies mandated by the Climate Law and Community Protection Act. Her work drives engagement for emerging efficiency, electrification, and carbon valuation policies
Navigating the Changing Landscape of Sustainability
Sargam Saraf ('17) is working in the world’s largest chemical company where she helps internal and external stakeholders to identify and leverage sustainability through a variety of efforts such as new business development, marketing, and corporate strategy implementation.
Alumna Travels A Different Sustainability Path in Bushwick
Agustina Besada (’15) serves as executive director of Sure We Can, a nonprofit recycling facility, community center, and a grassroots sustainability testbed wrapped into one. Some 500 canners work at Sure We Can, recycling an average of 40,000 containers each day.
How a Student Project Helped to Change JetBlue’s Course
Sophia Mendelsohn (’16) used the skills gained in the program to help improve the sustainability of an airline.An analysis of financial and environmental impacts, regulatory risk and customer expectations pointed to jet fuel as a key element of the company’s sustainability strategy.
Resiliency Strategies to Sustain Businesses and Livelihoods
Krista Eichenbaum (’16) moved from Toronto to attend the MSSM program to better address resiliency challenges in cities. She is currently Project Analyst and Manager at a women-owned engineering consulting firm, specializing in civil engineering, urban planning, and sustainability.
Alum Named to 2016 GreenBiz ’30 under 30′
Prerna Chatterjee (MSSM’15) has been named one of the 2016 “30 under 30” people to watch in sustainable business by GreenBiz. As sustainability specialist at BASF, helps businesses and customers in creating value through sustainability. She has also created the tool and infrastructure for reporting and measuring the key performance indicators for sustainability for all business units in North America.
Teaming Technology and Clean Energy
James Kocher (MSSM ‘13) works in the photovoltaics monitoring sector where he helps clients measure and analyze photovoltaic (PV) solar production. His interest in the clean energy sector sparked during first semester in the program, when he took “Financing the Green Economy.”
Using Impact Investing to Profit Within the Limits of Nature
Luke Apicella works as an impact investor in the Office of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential. In this role, he provides investment recommendations based on social, environmental and financial merits. Luke credits the program with giving him skills to analyze actual deals.
Alum Directs Energy towards Renewables
Jason Prince (’14) now works at Karbone, an integrated renewable energy and environmental markets company, as the Director of Research. Before joining the program, he worked as a wilderness guide in his native Canada. Jason has also worked for a non-profit organization that focused on community development in Central America, where he undertook a project to integrate small-scale solar installations at schools, and to promote the use of sustainable building materials.
Alum Transitions to Career in Public Sector
Harry McLellan (’14) has always had an interest in the built environment. Prior to joining the program, he worked as a construction lawyer for 25 years. Now, working as a Senior Counsel in the Law Department of the City of New York’s Commercial and Real Estate Litigation Division, Harry hopes to integrate environmental concerns by promoting public works projects.
MS Alum Transitions to Sustainable Healthcare
Lindsey Clarke originally joined the program with the intention of going into sustainability consulting after graduation, but an internship with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center led to an unexpected opportunity. Now an energy and sustainability data analyst for Memorial Sloan Kettering, Lindsey works to bring greater sustainability and energy efficiency to the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center.
M.S. Graduate Aims to Create Sustainable Solutions through Biomimicry
Adiel Gavish (’13) thinks that we’ve all got something to learn from nature. As the vibrant Founder of BiomimicryNYC, the thirty-two year old is leading the charge to change the way that people design solutions through biomimicry – the science and ethos that studies designs and patterns in the natural world and applies them to solve human problems.
M.S. Alum Transitions from Hotel Management to Forest Conservation
Prior to joining the MSSM program, Uta Jungerman (’12)she had worked in the tourism industry as well as in finance. Upon completing the program last spring, Uta’s career path took her to Geneva, Switzerland, where she currently works for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business.
Marly Isler graduated from Columbia’s M.S. in Sustainability Management program in 2020. Now she works at Johnson and Johnson, implementing socially and environmentally responsible strategies.
Minelly De Coo (’18) spent eight years in the engineering consulting industry and used her SUMA degree to transition to the public sector. Today she serves as a senior policy advisor for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency where she leads program delivery efforts for key initiatives within the citywide resiliency portfolio.
Laura Tajima ('15) works as an intern in the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, working with energy audit data from Local Law 87. In her position, she gets to apply a lot of the technical skills that she has acquired in her MSSM classes to record energy systems and energy usage.
Getting the Tools to Get Hired
Alan Burchell (’14) is the founder and principal of Urbanstrong, which markets and sells design-build-maintenance services for various green building technology systems, including green roofs, living wall gardens, solar-integrated-green roofs, and traditional rooftop solar electric.
Sustainability Alum Leads Coach’s CSR Initiatives
Amanda Lechenet (’13) is the Corporate Sustainability Strategy Manager at Coach, Inc. in New York. She is responsible for the publication of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, Conflict Minerals Program, and serves as a company liaison for all the sustainability related issues and topics.
Capstone Project Prepares Alum for Energy Efficiency Career
Marisa Hanson (’14) has gone from working on a capstone workshop project to design a national building retrofit program for Montenegro to a role as program specialist for a residential energy efficiency program in Santa Barbara, CA. Marisa has focused her sustainability career on making a significant difference on a local level.
MS Alum Leads Green Initiatives at McGraw Hill Financial
The analytical and collaborative skills that Jaclyn Bouchard acquired from the program propelled her to become the Manager of Corporate Responsibility at McGraw Hill Financial, one of the leading companies in credit ratings, benchmarks, and analytics. Jaclyn hopes to continue the McGraw Hill Financial’s efficiency projects and initiatives through her position.
MS Alum Works to Bring Electric Vehicles to NYC
Stephen Marlin (’12) has always been a “car guy.” Now, as the Senior Business Development Manager in the East Region for BYD Motors, he works to bring electric vehicles into New York City livery services. He credits the MSSM program’s integrated approach to sustainability with allowing him to better understand his partners and turn obstacles into solutions.
Sustainability Management Alum Works to Implement Rio+20 Promises
John Romano (’13) has had the opportunity to work on sustainability as a consultant in the private sector, as a sustainable community planner in the public sector, non-profit, and academic realms – and most recently for the United Nations secretariat in civil society outreach and engagement. Currently, John is a Global Fellow with the International Program at NRDC.
M.S. Alum Seeks Safer Chemical Policies
Mark Buczek (’12) utilized the program to supplement his existing career track in the chemical industry as the Co-Chair for the non-profit organization, BizNGO.org, which focuses on helping organizations to understand and manage chemicals and select alternative materials.Mark knew that he wanted to be involved in the area of developing safer chemicals, and the MSSM program helped him figure out how to get involved.
Sustainability Management Alum Embarking on Corporate Consulting Career
Sarah Gudernatch (’12) knew from the moment she started the program that she wanted to work in corporate sustainability. As a Sustainability Consultant at Two Tomorrows, an international corporate sustainability company, Sarah works on projects that require her to rely on the knowledge that she gained in the program in order to communicate suggestions and proposals to the company’s various clients.
Prior to SUMA, Donald Wissell ('18) He had worked for companies such as Bear Stearns, Bank of America, and BlackRock Financial Management. His interest in sustainability drew him to SUMA as he felt the underlying skills required for both disciplines were well aligned; both require innovative thinking, analysis and problem solving, complex project management, relevant marketing plans, implementation of new technologies, and public education.
Monica Munn (’18) serves as the Director of Economic Development for the Union Square Partnership, where she leads the organization’s policy, advocacy, and sustainability initiatives.
Graduate Awarded Fulbright to Research Arctic Ocean Protection
David Prieto (’15) has been awarded a Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research Grant. While based in Iceland for the grant, Prieto will research the benefits of establishing an marine protected area (MPA) over the Central Arctic Ocean.
Jeremy Simpson ('15) currently works as an Analyst at Recyclebank, a startup helping communities across the United States improve their residential recycling programs by providing economic incentives to residents when they recycle. Jeremy tracks the impact of marketing initiatives that Recyclebank runs in its client communities as well as conducting research into waste management systems around the country, among other things.
Alum Brings Solar Expertise to the Classroom
As a Vice President in the Finance department at Safari Energy, Dan Giuffrida leads the financing process for all of Safari’s commercial and industrial scale solar development projects. This summer he will be launching a new course, Solar Project Development.
Educated Girls Uncover Unmet Design Needs
Diana Sierra (‘12) was featured on TriplePundit for her work with Be Girl, a for-profit social enterprise that she co-founded for the purpose of empowering women through design. Having had experience as a product designer for Nike and Panasonic, Diana joined the program with the goal to develop more environmentally and socially responsible products.
Graduate Brings Sustainability to L’Oreal
Tara Helms (’15) has a background in supply chain management in the energy sector and was drawn to the program as a way to shift her focus towards sustainability. Throughout her time in the program, Tara took advantage of various networking and certification courses.Tara landed a new job with the new product development team at L’Oreal.
Entrepreneurial MS Alum Finds Sustainable Solutions alongside Former Classmates
John Haugen (‘13) began his career in a management consulting firm. Upon graduating from the program, he, along with two of his former MSSM classmates, co-founded Third Partners LLC, a sustainability consulting firm which advises organizations on GHG emissions reporting, sustainable marketing, branding, and energy efficiency.
MS Alum Constructs Career for the Built Environment
Steve Burke currently works at Symmes Maini Mckee & Associates (SMMA), a multi-disciplinary architecture and engineering firm for sustainable efforts in the built environment. Steve hopes to continue his push for sustainable solutions until it becomes fully embedded within his work environment.
MS Alum Applies Technical Skills to Renewable Energy
Prior to joining program, Katrina Prutzman worked as a manufacturing process engineer for 3M Purification, Inc.While a student, Katrina spent the summer of 2013 as an EDF Climate Corps Fellow. Katrina now works for Urban Green Energy, a distributed renewable energy provider, where she is responsible for ensuring the consistent product quality at the company’s vertical axis wind turbine manufacturing facility in East Asia.
MS Alum Banks on Sustainability Management Skills
While a part-time student in the program, Lizzette Butkiewicz (’12), was working full-time at a boutique trade finance firm with the hope of merging her interest in sustainability with her background in finance. Now, as the Manager of Community Investments in the Corporate Sustainability team at HSBC, she is liaising between the company’s philanthropic partnerships and creating employee engagement opportunities with key partners.
M.S. Alum Applies Program Skills to Fortune 500 Company
With a background in environmental consulting, Evan Brown (’12)parlayed this experience and existing interest in sustainability into the field of corporate sustainability. As an Energy Analyst for Fortune 300 Company Family Dollar in North Carolina, Evan is pioneering the company’s first efforts to make its more than 7,400 stores and distribution centers more sustainable in their operations.
Sustainability Management Alums Take the Entrepreneurial Path to Success
When JD Capuano and Sami Abbay joined the M.S. in Sustainability Management (MSSM) program back in September 2010, they both knew from the start that they wanted to become entrepreneurs. Over the course of the past two years, JD and Sami were able to make their career dreams a reality in the form of Closed Loop Advisors, a sustainability management consulting firm that focuses on strategy and operations.