FACULTY

Courses are taught by an expert faculty, including renowned practitioners in fields ranging from environmental law to alternative energy financing and researchers who are leaders in the fields of earth science, engineering and environmental management. The program utilizes environmental and sustainable development research and practitioner experience to provide practical training in sustainability management to a new generation of professionals who will address critical interdisciplinary issues.

Program Directors

Steven Cohen

Satyajit Bose

 

Program Faculty

Thomas Abdallah

Laia Andreu-Hayles

Howard Apsan

Jit Bajpai

Susan Blaustein

Eron Bloomgarden

Travis Bradford

Jonah Busch

Steven Caputo Jr

Kizzy Charles-Guzman

Benjamin Cook

Robert Cook

Todd Cort

Susanne DesRoches

Jonathan Dickinson

Claudia Dreifus

Gregory Falco

Luke Falk

Scott Fisher

Adam Freed

Dan Giuffrida

Adela Gondek

Alexander Heil

Richard Horsch

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

Prof. Adam Freed Teaches Data-Driven Sustainability

Watch our new faculty video featuring Adam Freed, co-instructor for Sustainability Metrics and Financing Natural Infrastructure. Freed works in the Sustainability Practice at Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultant service established by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help cities improve the quality of life for their citizens.

STEVE COHEN
Program Director

Dr. Steven Cohen is the Senior Vice Dean of Columbia’s School of Professional Studies and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Director of the Masters of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, and the Director of the Earth Institute’s Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at Columbia University. From 2006 to 2018, he served as the Executive Director of the Earth Institute and from 2002 to 2006, he directed education programs at the Earth Institute. From 1998 to 2001, Cohen was Vice Dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. From 1985 to 1998, he was the Director of Columbia’s Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration. From 1987-1998, Cohen was Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum at SIPA.

He is a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn (1970), Franklin College of Indiana (1974) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (M.A., 1977; Ph.D., 1979). In 1976-77, Cohen was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Environmental Policy; in 1978-79, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Public and Environmental Policy and Implementation.

Dr. Cohen served as a policy analyst in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1977 through 1978 and 1980-81, and as consultant to the agency from 1981 through 1991, from 1994 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2010. From 1979-1980 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University and from1981-1987 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. From 1990-94, Cohen served on the Board of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs; he has also served on the Executive Committee and Committee on Accreditation and Peer Review of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. From 2001 to 2004, he served on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Homes for the Homeless, the Board of Directors of Willdan Energy Solutions, and the Board of Directors of the Institute on the Environment.

Dr. Cohen is the author of  The Sustainable City (2017, 2020), Understanding Environmental Policy (2nd Edition) (2006, 2014), Sustainability Management (2011), Understanding Environmental Policy (2006) and The Effective Public Manager (1988, now co-authored in its fifth edition), and the co-author of Management Fundamentals (2020), as well the co-author of Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (2015), The Responsible Contract Manager (2008), Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation (2005), The Effective Public Manager 3rd and 4th editions (2002, 2008), Tools for Innovators: Creative Strategies for Managing Public Sector Organizations (1998), The New Effective Public Manager (1995), Total Quality Management in Government (1993), Environmental Regulation Through Strategic Planning (1991), and numerous articles on public management innovation, public ethics, sustainability management, politics and environmental management. He also writes a blog for The Huffington Post.

Dr. Cohen has taught courses in public management, policy analysis, environmental policy, management innovation, and sustainability management. In 1982 Cohen developed, and until 2001, directed Columbia’s Workshops in Applied Public Management and Applied Policy Analysis; bringing practical professional education into the center of Columbia’s Public Administration curriculum. He has conducted professional training seminars in total quality management, strategic planning, project management and management innovation.

Cohen was born in Orange, New Jersey, raised in Brooklyn, New York and now resides in New York City. He and his wife, Donna Fishman, have two wonderful daughters, Gabriella and Ariel and a granddaughter Lily.

 
SATYAJIT BOSE
Associate Director

Satyajit has extensive expertise in investment banking, asset management, financial restructuring and automated weather risk management. Among other positions, he was a mergers & acquisitions banker, directed quantitative trading strategies at a convertible arbitrage hedge fund managing $1.5 billion in assets and developed machine learning algorithms to optimize weather-based decision tools.

Satyajit Bose holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.

Satyajit Bose is Associate Professor of Practice at Columbia University, where he teaches sustainable investing, cost benefit analysis and mathematics and serves as Associate Director of the Research Program in Sustainability Management. His current research interests include the value of ESG information, carbon pricing, the link between portfolio investment and sustainable development in emerging markets, as well as the optimal use of a broad array of environmental performance metrics for long horizon investment choices. He is co-author (with Dong Guo and Anne Simpson) of The Financial Ecosystem: The Role of Finance in Achieving Sustainability.

 

Satyajit has experience in investment banking, asset management, financial restructuring and automated weather risk management. He was a mergers & acquisitions banker, directed quantitative trading strategies at a convertible arbitrage hedge fund managing $1.5 billion in assets and developed machine learning algorithms to optimize weather-based decision tools.

Satyajit Bose holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.

 
THOMAS ABDALLAH
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

Thomas Abdallah, P.E. LEED AP, is the Deputy Vice President and Chief Environmental Engineer for MTA New
York City Transit . He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University, and joined MTA in 1987. He has
experience in sustainable design and construction, energy efficiency, pollution prevention, waste management, and ISO
14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

Thomas is the author of Sustainable Mass Transit: Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Public Transportation, and
has presented at the Transportation Research Board, American Public Transportation Administration, New York
Academy of Sciences and Greenbuild. He has appeared on Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas for a Small Planet,
Discovery Channel, PBS’ Going Green New York television program, and a film documentary “Postcards from the
Future” which detailed Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the MTA.

HOWARD APSAN
SUMA PS4100 Sustainability Management

Since 2003, Howard Apsan has served as the University Director of environmental, health, safety, and risk
management (EHSRM) for The City University of New York, the largest urban university system in the United States.
The University Director of EHSRM is responsible for environmental health and safety (EH&S) management and
compliance throughout the University; serves as the University’s chief risk officer, tasked with assessing liabilities and
designing systems for minimizing CUNY’s operational and reputational risks; co-chairs the University’s business
continuity committee; and is the chair of the University’s emergency preparedness task force. Before joining CUNY,
he worked as an analyst, manager and consultant for most of his career. He has also been president of his own firm,
Apsan Consulting, Inc., since 2001. He has served clients throughout the United States and has extensive international
experience. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Quality
Management, and writes and lectures regularly.

Howard Apsan has been a member of the faculty at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs
since 1986. His teaching and research focus has been on management and environmental policy. He received a B.A.
and M.A. from Brooklyn College in 1979; an M.Phil. from Columbia in 1981; and a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1985.

SUSAN BLAUSTEIN
SUMA PS4490 Women in Cities

Dr. Susan M. Blaustein is Founder/Director of WomenStrong International, a consortium of local non-profits dedicated to empowering women and girls in five impoverished urban settings in India, Kenya, Ghana, Haiti and Washington, DC, and to sharing best practices worldwide. Prior to establishing WomenStrong, Dr. Blaustein was Co-Founder/Director of the Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), a 12-year project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University committed to sustainable urban development across sub-Saharan Africa, where the most effective and durable accomplishments were carried out within the poorest communities themselves, often under the initiative and leadership of local women and girls.

Before her work at the Earth Institute, Dr. Blaustein was a senior consultant and analyst with the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank focused on conflict prevention, and with the Coalition for International Justice, a Washington-based NGO supporting the efforts of international criminal tribunals to prosecute gross human rights abusers in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone. She also reported on conflict, politics and economics from the Balkans and Southeast Asia for such publications as The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The New Republic and the Los Angeles Timesand is completing a book about the Rwanda genocide. Dr. Blaustein served previously as Assistant Professor at Columbia University, where she now teaches in the Earth Institute’s Sustainability Management Program. Her 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.

TRAVIS BRADFORD
SUMA PS5155 Energy Markets and Innovation

Travis Bradford is the president and founder of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, a nonprofit
organization focused on harnessing the power of the business sector to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions
in technologies, including energy, water, food, and recycling. Through the Institute, he helped found Greentech Media
and the Carbon War Room.

Bradford is also currently the managing partner at Atlas Capital Investments, LP, a global hedge fund dedicated to
investing in sustainable technology companies in energy, water, food, and materials. He consults with governments,
NGOs, and corporations on strategy and execution.

Bradford has lectured on finance, entrepreneurship, and alternative energy economics at many leading universities in
the U.S, and has been a professor at the University of Chicago and Duke University MBA programs on Energy
Innovation.His published works include Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy
Industry, published by the MIT Press, and “Private Equity: Sources and Uses” in the Journal of Applied Corporate
Finance, in addition to dozens of global market research reports on the energy industry. Bradford earned a bachelor’s
degree in finance from Georgia State University in 1992 and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business in 1996.
In 2006, he received an MPA degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has previously worked at the
Federal Reserve and as a partner at various public and private equity investment firms.

KIZZY CHARLES-GUZMAN
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

Kizzy Charles-Guzman is the director of the Climate Change and Public Health Program at the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) where she leads efforts to develop effective interventions to
reduce the anticipated adverse health impacts associated with a changing climate. Prior to joining the DOHMH, she
was a policy advisor at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability where she was
responsible for implementing air quality and food sustainability initiatives and coordinating other environmental
planning efforts outlined in PlaNYC 2030. Charles-Guzman has also worked in the non-profit sector, collaborating
with environmental, social justice, and children’s health advocacy groups on air pollution and public health issues
related to transportation and land use patterns and related to public exposure to indoor air pollutants and toxic
chemicals. She also has substantial experience in politics and government regulations, given her involvement in the
passage of City and State legislation to reduce air emissions. Charles-Guzman was selected by City Hall News as one
of 40 “Rising Stars: the next generation of political leaders in New York” and by Glamour Magazine as one of “70 Eco
Heroes in the U.S.”

ROBERT COOK
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

Dr. Bob Cook is a veterinarian who has spent his career in wildlife health, conservation, medical research, academia
and foundation philanthropy. Presently he is Scientific Editor for the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, the
Senior Science Advisor at the Mayday Fund and the Grant Development Consultant for Environment and Science
Programs at the Zegar Family Foundation. Prior to that he served as Program Director for Conservation and Basic
Medical Research at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. For a number of years he worked for the Wildlife Conservation
Society serving as the Chief Veterinarian and then as the General Director. In this role he led a team responsible for
the operations of 5 New York zoological parks including the Central Park, Queens and Prospect Parks Zoos, the New
York Aquarium and the Bronx Zoo. He has worked extensively in rural international settings and on global policy
issues focused on the health of people, domestic animals, and wildlife. His environmental grantmaking experience
includes community-based conservation, protected area establishment, biodiversity, climate change mitigation and
adaptation, marine conservation, environmental justice, food security, regenerative agriculture, and the sustainability
of natural resources. Dr. Cook has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at SIPA from 2004 to2007 and then from
2013 to present. He has also served as a Lecturer in the School of Professional Studies in 2012 and then again
beginning in 2017.

BS, Microbiology and Public Health, Michigan State University 1976; VMD, University of Pennsylvania School of
Veterinary Medicine 1980, Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Animal Medical Center 1981;
Residency in Zoological Medicine, Wildlife Conservation Society 1987; MPA, School of International and Public
Affairs, Columbia University 2002.

SUSANNE DEROCHES
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

Susanne DesRoches is the sustainable design manager for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where she
is responsible for agency-wide sustainable design efforts and technical reviews for sustainable design efforts including
the World Trade Center and LaGuardia Airport. She also serves as the Port Authority engineering department’s
representative on New York State Climate Action Council and New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning
and Sustainability’s Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.

She has an M.P.A. in environmental science and policy from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia
University, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the Pratt Institute.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS
SUMA PS5180 Writing Global Science International Media

Prize winning journalist and author, Claudia Dreifus, writes for the Science section of the New York Times and is a
contributing writer for the New York Review of Books, the Daily. Known for her incisive interviews on scientific and
cultural topics, Ms. Dreifus is also the producer and moderator a lecture series at the 92nd Street Y, “Science Salon
with Claudia Dreifus.” In her highly rated SUMA course, she teaches scientists and sustainability professionals the
basics of journalism so that they can communicate their work with maximum effectiveness. Over the semester, students
gain practice in writing op-ed opinion pieces, producing interviews, making pod-casts, writing for the internet. At the
end of the term, they are guided in writing and researching complex long form feature articles such as those regularly
seen in the New York Times Sunday Magazine and Scientific American and Quanta. Ms. Dreifus has written for all
three of those publications—and also for Undark, Wired, Ms., Newsweek, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the
Nation, Mother Jones, Smithsonian, AARP-The Magazine, Readers Digest. She is also the author of six books,
including the 2010 polemic, co-authored with the political scientist, Andrew Hacker, “Higher Education?”

Ms. Dreifus believes that journalists are actually science teachers and perhaps because of that, the scientific honor
society, Sigma Xi, awarded her an honorary membership for her role in “transforming” the form and style of science
journalism.

LUKE FALK
SUMA PS5135 Analysis for Energy Efficiency

Luke Falk is the Head of Strategy and Product for Hudson Yards Technology, the group driving technological
innovation at Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the history of the US. Previously Luke was
Assistant Vice President for Sustainability in Related’s New York Development Group. In that role he developed
distributed and renewable energy generations projects, and improved the energy performance and resilience of new and
existing developments. He was the design and engineering manager for the tallest passive house development in the
world (The House at Cornell Tech), has lead the development of over 1 MW of distributed solar resources, nine
cogeneration plants, and is currently developing the largest energy storage project in New York State. Since 2010 Mr.
Falk has been an adjunct member of the faculty of Columbia University’s graduate-level Sustainability Management
program, a joint venture between The Earth Institute and its School of Continuing Education. He previously taught at
The Cooper Union’s School of Continuing Education. Prior to joining Related, Mr. Falk was a Senior Project Manager
for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) where he managed energy
efficiency programs with a collective budget of over $250M, and policy development including serving on national
working groups that developed EPA’s ENERGY STAR® label for multifamily buildings. He holds a BA from The
Colorado College and a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public
Service.

ADAM FREED
SUMA PS5169 Sustainability Metrics
SUMA PS5380 Financing Natural Infrastructure

Adam Freed works in the Sustainability Practice at Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultant service established by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help cities improve the quality of life for their citizens. Previously, he was the Deputy Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Global Water Program, where he focused on helping cities have safe, sustainable, and reliable water supplies through investments in natural infrastructure and sound resource allocation policies and on mitigating water risks in corporate supply chains.

Prior to the Conservancy, Adam served as the Deputy Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, where he oversaw the implementation of and process to update the city’s long-term sustainability plan (PlaNYC) and advised the Mayor on sustainability and climate-related issues. In this role, Adam developed and managed the city’s climate resilience program. Before joining the Bloomberg Administration, he was the Assistant Comptroller for NYC in the Office of the New York State Comptroller, where he led the review of large-scale economic development projects and crafted corporate governance strategies for the State’s $150 billion state retirement fund.

Adam received his master’s in Urban Planning from New York University was a Mel King Community Fellow at MIT. He currently resides on the Lower East Side of New York City with his wife and two sons and is a Lecturer at Columbia University and a member of the NYC Water Board.

ADELA GONDEK
SUMA PS5700 Ethics and Values for Sustainability Management

Adela Gondek teaches public and environmental ethics at Columbia University, in the Executive MPA and the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy programs of the School of International and Public Affairs; the MS in Sustainability Management program at the School of Professional Studies, and the Undergraduate Sustainable Development Program of the Earth Institute. A political scientist with a specialization in political theory and American politics and policy, she acquired her Ph.D. in the Department of Government at Harvard, with cross-disciplinary study in the law and divinity schools and the Kennedy School of Government.  She has served as a legislative analyst in the Massachusetts State Senate, with investigative specialization in consumer product safety, prison reform, and model judicial practice.  At Columbia, she initially taught American political theory in the Department of Political Science, then began teaching applied ethics at SIPA, SPS, and the EI.  She has designed courses on corrupt practices, sector-based environmental justice, sustainable finance, and the sustainability worldview; and is currently developing a new course on ecological philosophy for the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 

Professor Gondek’s research interests include practical and theoretical ethics, cross-sector corruption, organizational leadership and management, the Arthurian narrative and code of civility, and transformative learning.  Writing English variations, she co-authored the volume, Poems of Enlightenment, with Jingtian Guo, poet; Rongxiang Jia, poet; Tigang Guo, calligrapher; and Yujie Kang, artist (Beijing: World Knowledge Press, 2015). In 2018, she co-authored a paper on transformative individuals and communities with Dr. Rachel Fichter, Chief Learning Officer at S&P Global Ratings, NYC, and Dr. Katharina Weghmann, Director, Integrity Solutions at Ernst & Young, Berlin, Germany.  In 2019, she authored an article recently published in the winter issue of the Johns Hopkins SAIS (School of Advanced International Studies) Review, on ethics in foreign policy with peculiar ramifications from Antarctica to Ukraine.

ALEXANDER HEIL
SUMA PS4190 Economics of Sustainability Management

Alexander Heil is the Chief Economist of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. As Chief Economist, Dr.
Heil provides strategic leadership on regional economic issues to the agency. He is responsible for developing and
managing the agency’s economic research and analysis agenda, helping to ensure that the agency’s major investment
and policy decisions are informed by sound economic principles and analysis, and increasing awareness of the region
as a unified economic entity by regional governmental, business, and civic leaders. Dr. Heil’s experience includes
analyzing regional economic conditions, conducting regional cost benefit analysis, assessing the regional economic
impacts of transportation investments, resilience and sustainability economics, and undertaking economic project
evaluations.

Prior to his appointment at the Port Authority, he was an Economist at CDM Smith, where he conducted management
consulting for government entities and private industry clients. He also worked at Cambridge Systematics Inc.,
Commonwealth Research Group Inc., and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting. His extensive teaching experience
includes serving as an adjunct faculty member at Tufts University and Emmanuel College.

Dr. Heil holds a Ph.D. in Transportation Economics from the University of South Wales in the United Kingdom. He
received his bachelor’s degree from Hawai’i Pacific University and his master’s degree in Economics from Golden
Gate University.

 

BRUCE KAHN
SUMA PS5142 Sustainable Finance
SUMA PS5193 Statistics for Sustainability Management
SUMA PS5240 Sustainable Agriculture

Bruce Kahn has over 25 years of experience in environmental and investment research and management. Currently,
Bruce is the Portfolio Manager of a Global Equity portfolio which focuses on agribusiness. Previously, Bruce was a
Director in Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division where he acted as an investment strategist conducting
high-level analytical research on sustainable investing including clean tech, water and agricultural-based investment
strategies as well as ESG/SRI strategies. Prior to that, he managed assets at Smith Barney’s Private Wealth
Management Group in sustainable investments including agri-business and clean tech for Foundation/Endowment,
HNWI and Institutional clients. Bruce currently serves as a Trustee and member of the Finance Committee of the Jesse
Smith Noyes Foundation, a US endowment and funder of sustainable agriculture organizations in the US. He also
serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for the Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the University
of Wisconsin, Madison and is on the Technical Review Panel of National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Recently
Bruce has joined the Advisory Council of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and serves on the Advisory
Panel of Mercer Investment Consulting and Management’s Sustainable Opportunities Fund. Bruce holds a BA in
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut; MS in Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures from
Auburn University; PhD in Land Resources from University of Wisconsin, Madison; recipient of both a J. William
Fulbright Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Fellowship in ecological economics.

AMY KARPATI
SUMA PS5235 The Science of Urban Ecology

Amy Karpati is an ecologist and environmental educator. Currently, she works with PLAN it WILD, a local start-up
whose mission is to bring back habitat to suburban yards and open spaces. She has served as the Director of Science
and Programs at Teatown Lake Reservation, a nature preserve and environmental education center in Westchester
County, New York. Karpati also worked as a conservation biologist and environmental advocate in the New Jersey
Pinelands, helping to protect the essential ecosystem services and habitats of the region. She has conducted research
into the ecological restoration of urban ecosystems, specializing in plant ecology, soil ecology, and ecological
mutualisms. Karpati’s teaching in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program focuses on fostering
urban sustainability through understanding and enhancing ecological function, biodiversity, and green infrastructure in
cities. Karpati holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution as well as a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers
University, and a M.S.T. in Adolescent Education from Pace University.

JENNA LAWRENCE
SUMA PS4140 Sustainability Science

Jenna Lawrence has taught undergraduate, graduate and continuing education courses at Columbia University since
2007 through the department of ecology, evolution and environmental biology. She is also an instructor at the Center
for Environmental Research and Conservation. The courses she teaches include Marine Conservation Ecology,
Introduction to Ecology and Biodiversity. Her research experience focuses on the behavior and ecology of primates and
wildlife conservation approaches.

WADE MCGILLIS
SUMA PS5145 The Science of Sustainable Water

Wade McGillis is a Research Professor at the Lamont Doherty Observatory and has been teaching in the Department of
Earth and Environmental Engineering for 16 years. He is the Director of the Center for Rivers and Estuaries and
member of the Green Infrastructure Consortium at Columbia University.

His research interests and activities include understanding water resource management and the effects of contaminants
in the environment. McGillis works on urban and coastal ecosystems everywhere from New York City to Haiti and the
Arctic to the Mediterranean Sea. He has worked as a Mechanical Engineer in Industry and previously was a scientist at
the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before coming to Columbia University, a non-profit organization where he
studied of global carbon cycle between the atmosphere and the marine system. In addition, McGillis has published over
100 articles, the most recent of which are on New York City storm water management (January 2019), Haitian river
discharge (2015), Citizen Science research (2016), and Coral Reef dissolution (2016).

DARA MENDELOFF
SUMA PS5205 GIS for Sustainability Management

Dara Mendeloff is a GIS specialist at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia
University. At CIESIN, Mendeloff has run GIS training workshops, developed web map clients, written geoprocessing
scripts in python, and conducted data collections and quality checks on topics such as Low-Elevation Coastal Zones
and Infant Mortality Rates. Prior to her work at Columbia, Mendeloff worked as a GIS technician/analyst at the New
York City Department of City Planning where she was responsible for data creation and management of GIS datasets
for representation of NYC’s Zoning Map, Section Map and City Map features. Additionally, she has served as a GIS
technician with Dr. Yuri Gorokhovich, an associate research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory as well
as with the New York/New Jersey Clean Ocean and Shore Trust. She also conducted remote sensing and served as a
GIS analyst at Panthera, a company that uses scientific leadership and global conservation action to ensure the future of
wild cats. Mendeloff was an adjunct professor in the department of geography at CUNY Hunter College where she
taught a graduate level “Introduction to GIS” course in 2010.

Mendeloff received her master of arts degree in geography/GIS from CUNY Hunter College in 2010. She received her
bachelor of science in environmental science from SUNY Purchase College in 2003 and her bachelor of arts in
mathematics/computer science in 2005. Mendeloff is a member of the North American Cartographic Information
Society.

BHAKTI MIRCHANDANI
SUMA PS5445 Impact Finance for Sustainability Practitioners

Bhakti Mirchandani is a managing director at FCLTGlobal, a nonprofit that works to encourage a
longer-term focus on business and investment decision-making; an ESG advisor to a large fund of hedge funds; and a
monthly contributor to Forbes on sustainable and impact investing. She is also a Commissioner of the New York State
Insurance Fund, a $19bn workers' compensation fund for New York State. She is an advisor, board member, or
investment committee member of ACCION Venture Labs, Upaya Social Ventures, Contact Fund, and MicroVest
Capital Management Enhanced Debt Fund. Mirchandani obtained her chemistry degree at Harvard College and then
completed a dual Masters in Business Administration and Public Administration at Harvard Business School and
Harvard Kennedy School. She began her career in equity research before pioneering micro pensions and long-term
micro savings at Women’s World Banking. Mirchandani co-founded the Global Microentrepreneurship Awards (later
Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards), sourced and marketed the first microfinance CLO without a public investor or
subsidy while at Lehman Brothers, led the first microinsurance investment in India–LeapFrog Investments’ investment
in Shriram–while at impact investment bank Unitus Capital, and built the North America coverage practice for global
development organizations while at Barclays. Mirchandani’s financial transaction experience spans the capital structure
and stages of investment.

 

INDRANI PAL
SUMA PS5147 Water Resources and Climate

Indrani teaches various courses at Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPA). She is trained as a Civil
Engineer in India. Having gotten her interests on water and society she pursued a masters degree in Water Resources
Engineering with two prestigious scholarships from the Governments of India and Germany (DAAD). It gave her an
unique opportunity to pursue a graduate study from the two different countries (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
and University of Stuttgart, Germany). She later completed her second masters (M.Phil) and a doctoral degree (PhD)
from the University of Cambridge in the UK. In Cambridge, UK her research focused on understanding the changing
patterns of monsoons in India and related environmental issues. After successful completion of her PhD, she moved to
the United States and joined The Earth Institute at Columbia University for her post-doctoral training at the IRI. At the
same time, she held a visiting research scholar position at Boston University. Later in 2012 Indrani joined University of
Colorado in Denver as a tenure track faculty member, where she developed and taught numerous courses focusing on
water resources sustainability and statistical methods, and researched on a range of water issues across the globe and
their societal impacts. She then (re)joined Columbia University at the Water Center as a Research Scientist. She
continued her research on the interphase of water, climate, food, and society, and taught various courses for Columbia
School of Professional Studies. In addition to teaching at Columbia SPA at present, Indrani also holds a Research
Assistant Professor position at NOAA-CREST.

MICHAEL PUMA
SUMA PS5701 Water Governance

Michael Puma is a hydrologist/ecohydrologist studying the interactions of the hydrologic cycle with climate, terrestrial ecosystems, and society. Currently, he is an associate research scientist with the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR), which is associated with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He is also a lecturer at the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC). He received his doctorate from Princeton University in civil and environmental engineering under the advisement of professors Michael Celia and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe. He also has a master’s degree in international environmental policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

GEORGE SARRINIKOLAOU
SUMA PS4100 Sustainability Management
SUMA PS5310 Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Leadership

George Sarrinikolaou is director of the Earth Institute’s Office of Academic and Research Programs. In that role, he is
responsible for the management of several educational programs, for initiatives that strengthen the Earth Institute’s
research enterprise, and for administrative support to the Institute’s academic governance. Previously he worked at the
Institute for Sustainable Communities, where he managed the Climate Leadership Academy, a training and technical
assistance program for hundreds of sustainability practitioners working in U.S. cities and metropolitan regions. He also
served as the first sustainability manager of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, where he advised the Port
Authority’s Board of Commissioners and senior management in developing sustainability policies and projects. He
helped create and managed the Port Authority’s sustainability program, which focused on climate change mitigation,
carbon neutrality, and adaptation. As part of the program, he conducted the Port Authority’s first greenhouse gas
emissions inventory, which included the emissions of the aircraft, ships, and vehicles that use the Authority’s facilities.
He also made the Authority’s first purchase of carbon offsets, implemented a policy for sustainable design, developed
green construction contract specifications, and supported the environmental management of World Trade Center
redevelopment. He is the author of “Facing Athens: Encounters with the Modern City.” He holds an M.P.A. with a
concentration in environmental policy and an M.A. in English from Columbia University, and a B.A. cum laude in
English from Cornell University.

BRAD SCHWARTZ
SUMA PS5195 Accounting, Finance, and Modeling of Sustainable Investments

Brad Schwartz is the Chief Financial Officer at Encourage Capital. He is also a New York State licensed CPA. Brad
holds an MBA with distinction from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a BS in accounting from SUNY Albany.
Prior to joining Encourage, he worked at Lincolnshire Management, Inc. on their finance and accounting team. He has
also worked for JP Morgan Chase in their Private Equity Fund Services business. Brad began his career as an auditor at
Ernst and Young. He was also at one point a professional comedian and actor but now provides humor on a pro bono
basis.

CARTER STRICKLAND
SUMA PS5690 Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities

Carter protects land, creates parks, builds green infrastructure and helps revitalize cities as the New York State Director
of The Trust for Public Land. He previously served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of
Environmental Protection, where he oversaw the largest municipally-owned water agency in the country and launched
the city’s Green Infrastructure Plan and Clean Heat Policy, and before that as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability
team.

He has served as an infrastructure, environmental and sustainability consultant, a public interest environmental litigator
and professor at Rutgers Law School, and as an Assistant New York Attorney General. Carter has been a board
member of several non-profits and teaches a class on sustainable infrastructure for cities at Columbia University. Born
and raised in upstate New York, for the past 20 years Carter has been a resident of Brooklyn, where he lives with his
wife and two children.

LYNETTE WIDDER
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop
SUMA PS5119 Building Energy Workshop
SUMA PS5030 Hungry City Workshop
SUMA PS5162 Responsiveness and Resilience in the Built Environment

Lynnette Widder (M.Arch, Columbia University, 1990; Sc.D., ETHZ, 2016) serves on the full-time faculty of the
Masters of Sustainability Management Masters Program at the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Her current
research focuses on sustainable development; urban resource flows; community resilience; and the material culture of
building construction in post-war Germany and the US. Her recent research for the UN Development Program in
Guinea has helped to resolve conflicts as diverse as bauxite mining and household waste management.

Prior to joining the Earth Institute, she was Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at the
Rhode Island School of Design; she has also taught at the ETH Zurich, Cornell University, City College of New York
and Cranbrook Academy. She is co-author of two books, Live Projects: Pedagogy into Practice (Taylor and Francis,
2014) and Ira Rakatansky: As Modern as Tomorrow (William Stout, 2010); and curator of Kaneji Domoto at Frank
Lloyd Wright’s Usonia (AIA Center for Architecture, 2017; Maass Gallery, SUNY Purchase and Georgia Institute of
Technology School of Architecture, 2019). Her articles on architectural history and sustainable building have appeared
in Daidalos, Bauwelt, architecture, Manifest, Kritische Berichte among other publications. Her professional work with
aardvarchitecture has been published in the US, Europe, China and Australia. From 1994-98, she was editor of the
bilingual architecture quarterly Daidalos.

LAIA ANDREU-HAYLES
SUMA PS5147 Water Resources and Climate

Laia Andreu-Hayles is a Research Associate Professor at the Tree-Ring Lab of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of
Columbia University and a lecturer at the School of Professional Studies of Columbia University Laia has been at the
Observatory since 2009.. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Barcelona and defended her Ph.D, which
received a European Doctorate award mention, in October 2017 in Spain. Her research is focused on the study of past,
current and future environmental changes, and incorporates dendrochronology and isotopic geochemistry. Her career
has been focused on the assessment of vegetation responses under global climate change and on reconstructions of past
climate. She seeks to understand the interactions between forests and the environment to provide a long-term context
for the study of current anthropogenic change, its impacts on the terrestrial ecosystem, and the Earth’s climatic system.
Her investigations are ongoing at sites located in the Mediterranean, boreal and tropical regions, which are ‘hot spots’
where some of the most dramatic environmental changes are already occurring. Laia has received fellowships and
research awards, published more than 30 scientific papers and a book chapter, presented her findings at international
conferences, and she has been invited to international and national scientific panels.

JIT BAJPAI
SUMA PS4130 Sustainable Cities

Jitendra (Jit) Bajpai is an Independent Consultant and an Adjunct Lecturer (Sustainable Cities) member of the Earth Institute serving the School of Professional Studies of Columbia University since 2011 and an Adjunct Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation at the Columbia University, New York since 2019.  Prior to his current positions he had served the World Bank for almost twenty years (1990-2011) in various positions including as the Director, Manager of Transport sector operations in East Asia and Pacific Region (EAP) and Advisor to the EAP Vice-President. He is a member of the Advisory Board on Future of Urban Development for the World Economic Forum, and has recently served the Inter-American Development Bank (Washington, DC), Brookings Institution (Washington, DC), the Rwanda and Uganda Governments under the sponsorship of International Growth Center (UK), World Bank and CAF, the development Bank of Latin America.

 

He is an engineer and planner with a doctorate degree from the University of Paris.  He was a Fellow of Johns Hopkins University (1978-79), and has completed an executive management program at the Harvard Business School. As the Treasurer of his family foundation (DeFries-Bajpai Foundation) Jit promotes the science for sustainable development.

 

ERON BLOOMGARDEN
SUMA PS5175 Global Environmental Markets
SUMA PS5380 Financing Natural Infrastructure

Eron Bloomgarden is a partner at EKO Asset Management Partners based in the firm’s New York City office. EKO is a
specialized investment and advisory firm focused on discovering and monetizing unrealized or unrecognized
environmental assets. A a pioneer in the development of carbon markets, Bloomgarden has advised governments,
multilateral institutions, and international corporations on many aspects of the carbon and environmental markets. He
has extensive experience in the areas of carbon finance and emissions reduction project development and has worked
on several carbon market “firsts” including the first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in the world to
receive carbon credits and the first unilateral CDM project.

Prior to joining EKO, Bloomgarden was president of Equator’s environmental markets business, an asset management
firm, where he had responsibility for carbon and environmental assets throughout the organization. Previously he was
U.S. country director at EcoSecurities, the world’s largest CDM developer, where he spearheaded the firm’s entry into
the North American carbon market and managed all aspects of the firm’s United States operations including
origination, strategic planning, project development, and policy. Bloomgarden holds an M.P.A. from Columbia
University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and completed the P.L.D. at Harvard Business School.

STEVEN CAPUTO JR
SUMA PS5530 The Paradox of Urbanization

Steven Caputo is an Adjunct Faculty (Sustainability Management; Paradox of Urbanization) at the Earth Institute and
Lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs, and Principal of SCA Collaborative, an advisory firm that
specializes in energy, urbanism, and strategic initiatives. Prior to his current role, Caputo worked for the New York
City Mayor’s Office. As Senior Advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development under Mayor
Bill de Blasio, he helped create Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan. As Deputy Director of the Office
of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Caputo directed the NYC Clean Heat
program, which eliminated the use of heavy heating oil in buildings and led to dramatic improvements in air quality
and public health. Caputo was a two-time Fellow of the Design Trust for Public Space and coauthor of the
award-winning publications High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines (2005) and High Performance Landscape
Guidelines (2010). He also worked at Polshek Partnership Architects, Arup, and the Spatial Information Design Lab,
and served as an Asian Cultural Council Humanities Fellow and visiting artist at Lijiang Studio in Yunnan Province,
China.

BENJAMIN COOK
SUMA PS5230 Earth’s Climate System

Benjamin Cook is an Adjunct Research Scientist at the Earth Institute’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In
addition to his position at Lamont, Ben also serves as a Research Physical Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for
Space Studies in New York where he researches drought, hydroclimate, and interactions between the land surface and
climate system. Ben holds a BS degree in Environmental and Forest Biology from SUNY College of Environmental
Science and Forestry, and an MSc and Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Cook’s work involves the analysis of large-scale climate datasets and model simulations to investigate regional
climate and ecosystem dynamics. To address these questions, he draws from his diverse training in climatology, land
surface processes, and ecology. Dr. Cook is particularly interested in using long-term observations and the paleo record
to better understand variability and risks of extreme events (droughts), and applying mechanistic models to the same
problems to investigate the underlying physical processes. The complementary union of empirical data and mechanistic
models offers significant advantages, providing opportunities to evaluate and potentially improve models while also
helping us better understand the processes driving past, modern, and future events. Such an approach is critically
needed in order to place climate projections within the broader context of natural variability and to determine whether
processes important in the past will continue to play a major role in a much warmer future.

TODD CORT
SUMA PS5370 Implementation of Corporate Sustainability Strategies

Todd Cort is a Lecturer at the Yale School of Management and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, as
well as Faculty Co-Director for the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY). He is also the founder and
owner of NPV, LLC, which provides bespoke advisory services for clients in sustainability and corporate
responsibility, and previously served as the president of Two Tomorrows, LLC. Over the course of 15 years, in
consulting and academia, Dr. Cort has applied a scientific and economic lens to corporate social and environmental
responsibility in order to identify the tools, mechanisms, metrics and indicators that create the greatest value for
investors, businesses and society.

Dr. Cort holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego, as well as an
M.S. in Organic and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of
Colorado Boulder. Currently, his research focuses on two areas: identifying sustainability indicators that generate
demonstrable value to investors and assessing the credibility of corporate sustainability communications and programs

JONATHAN DICKINSON
SUMA PS5035 GHG Emissions: Measuring and Minimizing the Carbon Footprint

Jonathan Dickinson is a consultant with more than 19 years of environmental and sustainability experience in the
government, not-for-profit, health care, and academic sectors. He is a Practice Leader in the Sustainability and Energy
division at WSP, a global engineering and professional services firm, where he leads WSP’s Sustainable Cities
practice, and is a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, where
he designed and teaches a course on greenhouse gas emissions accounting and mitigation strategies.

Prior to joining WSP, Dickinson worked as a consultant providing third-party greenhouse gas emissions verification,
sustainability strategy, and greenhouse gas emissions inventory development services to corporate and public sector
clients. For 12 years, he served as a sustainability policy advisor in the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in
New York City, developing and implementing the city’s carbon mitigation and climate resilience initiatives as part of
New York’s comprehensive sustainability plan, PlaNYC, and developing the methodology for and completing seven
annual New York City greenhouse gas emissions inventories.

GREGORY FALCO
SUMA PS5360 Sustainability Technology and the Evolution of Smart Cities

Gregory J. Falco, LEED AP, CEM Gregory Falco is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where he teaches
classes on IoT, Smart Cities, Data Analytics and Machine Learning. He is also a security researcher at MIT’s Computer
Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) where he works at the nexus of AI and Cyber Security with
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop automated attack generation tools that will ultimately secure deep space
assets. Falco is a Fellow at Harvard’s Cyber Security Project in the Belfer Center where he advises policymakers on
securing IoT and urban critical infrastructure. He is the co-founder and CEO of NeuroMesh, an IoT security company
that uses hacker tools to defeat hackers over the blockchain. Previously, Falco was an executive at Accenture Digital
where he co-founded their Smart City division and Climate Resilience practice. He advised Fortune 100 clients and
cities around the world on driving growth via IoT and Machine Learning technology. Falco has independently
consulted for organizations such as the UN Foundation, Expedia and Tishman Speyer. He is an internationally
recognized inventor and thought leader and has lectured at and presented for the U.S. Navy, Cambridge University, the
University of Tokyo and Cornell University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Tanzacare, an NGO
focusing on improving rural public education in Tanzania.

Falco holds a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.S from Columbia University and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical
Infrastructure Cyber Security at MIT.

SCOTT FISHER
SUMA PS5197 Financing the Clean Energy Economy

Scott Fisher is Vice President, Market Development at Greenlots, a leading electric vehicle infrastructure software, and
services provider. In this role, Scott focuses on building Greenlots’ business with governments, utilities, and
automakers. Prior to joining Greenlots in 2017, Scott worked for 11 years at NRG Energy, including its electric vehicle
infrastructure subsidiary, EVgo. Scott’s work at NRG including leading NRG’s R&D joint venture with the University
of Delaware to develop vehicle-to-grid technology and initiating the company’s effort to develop community and
shared solar. Scott also led NRG’s efforts to secure federal funding for its renewable development and clean coal
projects. This included the successful financing of 3 utility-scale solar projects. Scott was also project director for
NRG’s successful proposal to the Department of Energy (DOE) for a carbon capture and storage plant at NRG’s WA
Parish coal plant in Texas. The project received a $200 million grant from DOE and began operations in Fall 2016 as
the country’s first large-scale carbon capture project at an existing coal plant. Scott‘s previous experience includes
corporate management consulting at Booz & Co (currently Strategy&), as well as 5 years at Public Service Enterprise
Group (PSEG), New Jersey’s largest utility. He graduated from Yale School of Management holds a BA from Vassar
College.

DAN GIUFFRIDA
SUMA PSPS5650 Solar Project Development

Dan is the founder of Plankton Energy, a commercial-scale solar developer based in New York. At Plankton, Dan
focuses on developing and financing solar and battery projects for schools, houses of worship, and small businesses.
Prior to founding Plankton, Dan was a Vice President at Safari Energy, a solar developer based in New York. Dan led
the finance team, with a focus on tailoring financial solutions for clients and structuring and arranging debt, lease, and
tax equity financing. At Safari, Dan was involved in developing over 100 MW of distributed generation projects in
operation.

Prior to joining Safari, Dan was a Lok Capital Fellow at Suryoday Microfinance where he led new market strategy &
product development. Dan began his career in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he focused
on the Power, Utilities & Renewables industry. Dan received an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia
University and holds a B.A. cum laude in Economics from Wake Forest University.

RICHARD HORSCH
SUMA PS5720 Policy and Legal Context
SUMA PS5301 International Environmental Law

Richard Horsch is a Retired Partner at the international law firm of White & Case LLP. His practice has focused on
domestic and international environmental matters, including environmental litigation. He was Chair of the Firm’s
International Environmental Law Practice for more than 25 years.

He is currently coordinating the Deep Decarbonization Pro Bono Implementation Project on behalf of Columbia Law
School’s Sabin Center on Climate Change Law.

He was Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Bar Association Section of
International Law in 2008 and Vice Chair from 2005-2007. He is Director Emeritus of the New York Lawyers for the
Public Interest, a non-profit public interest law organization. He is on the Board of Advisors to New York University
School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to improving the quality of
governmental decision-making.

He holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the
University of New Hampshire.

STEPHANIE KERSTEN-JOHNSTON
SUMA PS5470 Circular Economy for Sustainability Professionals

Stephanie Kersten-Johnston is Director of Circular Ventures at The Recycling Partnership – a U.S. based non-profit.
Prior to that, she led the Sustainable Business department at HEINEKEN USA, seeking to integrate Circular Economic
thinking into the organization in line with companies in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's CE100.

Kersten-Johnston began her career in communications before spending around five years working on corporate
sustainability in the UK and Europe. In 2015, she moved to New York where she began researching and writing about
Circular Economy topics and business model ideas. Kersten-Johnston studied politics, philosophy and economics at
Oxford University and holds a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS, University of London.

LAURELINE JOSSET
SUMA PS5146 Water Systems Analysis
SUMA PS5148 Managing Groundwater Resources for Communities and Industry

Laureline Josset is an Associate Research Scientist at the Columbia Water Center, where she works on the evaluation
of water stresses through integrated assessments, the optimization of management strategy for water quantity and
quality, and the transitions in the Food-Energy-Water nexus. Collaborating with actors from the government of New
York State (NYSERDA) and the civil society (The Nature Conservancy), Laureline focuses on the quantification of
risks due to uncertain climate and data to inform decisions.

Before joining Columbia, she obtained a bachelor and master degree in Physics at the EPFL (CH) and a PhD in Earth
Sciences at the University of Lausanne (CH). Laureline teaches for the Sustainable Management program classes on
water system analysis and groundwater management with a particular emphasis on conceptual modeling and system
thinking.

PHIL LAROCCO
SUMA PS5150 Energy and Sustainable Development

Phil LaRocco has over thirty years of experience at the intersection of the public and private sectors, leveraging public
purposes and private sector initiative, blending financial, economic, social and environmental returns. From 1970-1990,
he served as the Director of Trade and Economic Development for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
where he managed the NY World Trade Center, developed inner city industrial parks in the South Bronx, Yonkers and
Elizabeth, and developed the Essex County (Newark) 2,250 ton-per day waste to energy facility. In 1990 he moved on
to create a project management firm that led to his 1994 founding of a pioneering not-for-profit energy investment
company E+Co, operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia. He served as E+Co’s CEO
until 2009, directing investment in over 150 energy enterprises in more than twenty companies, building relationships
between big institutions (e.g. Rockefeller Foundation, UN Environmental Programme, European Development Finance
and Development organizations, U.S. AID, World Bank Group and International Finance Corporation), and more than
150 small and medium sized energy enterprises (e.g. SELCO-India, Toyola-Ghana and La Esperanza-Honduras).

LaRocco is committed to making training, education and capacity building materials readily available to energy
entrepreneurs, and other sector professionals.

ARTHUR LERNER-LAM
SUMA PS4734 Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Leadership

Arthur Lerner-Lam is the Program Director and also serves as the Deputy Director of the Earth Institute’s
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. He is a seismologist, who has studied and published on the
interactions between crust and mantle, the thickness of tectonic plates, the structure of mountain belts and crustal rifts,
and active seismicity. He has led scientific expeditions in many different countries, and throughout the United States.
Over the last 20 years, he has lectured and written widely on natural hazards and society. Lerner-Lam and his
colleagues and students have supported the activities of the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international
institutions promoting sustainable development in the face of extreme natural hazards.

Lerner-Lam received his undergraduate degree in geological sciences from Princeton University, and his doctorate in
geophysical sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California. He has held
Post-doctoral positions at Scripps and the MIT, and has been at Lamont-Doherty since 1985. He has been on numerous
scientific advisory committees and editorial boards including as a member on the Federal Scientific Earthquake Studies
Advisory Committee for the U.S. Geological Survey, as a consultant to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and
as a contributing author to the U.N.’s Global Risk Update. He has consulted on environmental and natural hazard
resilience for the governments of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Chile, India, China, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela.
He has testified before the U.S. Congress on the nation’s preparedness for natural disasters.

CHRISTOPH MEINRENKEN
SUMA PS5021 Theory and Practice of Life Cycle Analysis

Christoph Meinrenken is an associate research scientist at Columbia University's Earth Institute, adjunct assistant
professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and affiliate of the Foundations of Data Science
Center at the Data Science Institute. His research focuses on computer modeling to elucidate and improve the
techno-economic performance of low carbon energy systems. Recent and current research projects include demand
management and energy storage in smart buildings (DoE, NSF, NYSERDA, NIST), electrification of the transportation
sector, synthetic fuels (ABB, Electricity de France), and automated product carbon footprinting (PepsiCo Inc.). An
expert in Life Cycle Assessment and enterprise-scale product analytics, Meinrenken has worked with the World
Resources Institute, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and The Sustainability Consortium, and consulted several
globally operating consumer goods manufacturers.

Before joining Columbia, Meinrenken worked on modeling molecular spectra (MSE, Princeton University, 1996) and
computational neuroscience (PhD Physics, Max Planck Institute, 2001). In addition to academic research and teaching,
Meinrenken spent several years in the private sector, specializing in financial engineering and risk management.

VANCE MEROLLA
SUMA PS5170 Sustainable Operations

Vance Merolla is the Worldwide Director, Global Sustainability for Colgate-Palmolive Company, a consumer products
company based in New York City, responsible for the evolving development and implementation of Colgate’s global
sustainability strategy. Vance provides leadership on Colgate’s worldwide programs around climate, energy efficiency,
water stewardship, waste reduction, and sustainable buildings and external engagement. Prior to his current 21 years
with Colgate, he was an environmental consulting group manager for the URS Corporation. Merolla holds a B.S. in
Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Rutgers
University. He is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in the states of New York, New Jersey and Washington, and is a
U.S. Green Building Council LEED-Accredited Professional, and a Member of the USGBC NJ Chapter Board of
Directors.

ALISON MILLER
SUMA PS4734 Earth Institute Practicum

Alison Miller is the Deputy Director for Management of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where she manages operations of the largest research institute at Columbia, comprised of nearly 700 full-time employees with an annual budget of roughly $115 million.

 

She is also the Associate Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at the Earth Institute, where she engages in research related to organization-level sustainability issues. Prior to Columbia, Miller worked as a business development associate for an asset management firm. She has written about climate policy, sustainability metrics, and management. Miller is the co-author, with Steven Cohen and William Eimicke, of the 2015 book, Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy. She teaches courses on sustainable development and sustainability management and policy. In 2014, she was selected as one of City & State’s 40 under 40 Rising Stars in NYC Politics & Policy. Miller received her MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and her BA in Economics and International Relations from the University of Delaware.

 

CURTIS PROBST
SUMA PS5197 Financing the Clean Energy Economy

Curtis Probst is an innovator in asset finance, energy and sustainability. He currently serves as Co-CEO of New York
City Energy Efficiency Corporation. His prior experience includes over 3 years as a Managing Director leading the
sustainable finance practice at Rocky Mountain Institute, a global energy think tank, and previously, 24 years on Wall
Street (most recently, as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs where he worked for over 15 years). While in
investment banking, he managed over $50 billion of innovative financings for corporate and governmental clients.

Probst has spoken at industry events in the US, Canada and England, and lectured on energy finance for four years. He
holds an MPA from Columbia University, a BComm from the University of Calgary, and is a Chartered Financial
Analyst.

LUCIUS RICCIO
SUMA PS5033 Decision Models and Management

Lucius Riccio has been on the faculty of Columbia University since 1995. He also is Executive Vice President and
partner at Gedeon GRC Consulting, a full service engineering consulting firm, and a partner in CleanTrans, an
environmental transportation company. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia University, Mr. Riccio served in a
variety of government, not-for-profit, and private sector positions. Most notably, he was the Commissioner of NYC’s
Department of Transportation and served on the Board of Directors of NY’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Prior to those positions he was the Assistant Commissioner of NYC’s Department of Sanitation, Deputy Commissioner
for Highways (NYC), Assistant Director for Research at the Police Foundation (Washington D.C.), served on the staff
of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement Productivity, was a consultant to the Federal Judicial Center of the
Supreme Court of the U.S., and the U.S. Department of Justice, was Senior Vice President and partner at Urbitran
Associates, and managing director for special projects at Douglas Elliman Real Estate (NYC). He has published
extensively, served on the editorial board of the Operations Research Journal, received the ORSA President’s Award
for Lifetime Achievement, the Ike Grainger award from the United States Golf Association for 25 years of service, the
March of Dimes Service to Humanity Award, and the City (NYC) Club’s Earthling Award for contributions to the
environment. He has served on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Golf Association, MetroCommute Inc.,
Community Medical Transportation Inc., a NASDAQ listed company, and others.

RALPH SCHMIDT
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop
SUMA PS5770 The Business and Ecology of Sustainable Forestry

Ralph Schmidt is an adjunct professor at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, New York, and is also advising a
major international reforestation program for Haiti. His work with forests started in 1970 in Colombia. Schmidt studied
forest ecology and economics and received his Masters of Forest Science (1978) from Yale School of Forestry and
Environmental Studies. His good Spanish got him a research assistant job at the US Forest Service Institute for
Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico, where he learned to identify 300 species of trees. He was soon asked to be the head of
the Puerto Rico Forest Service. Here he managed a system of protected areas, as well as tree nurseries and saw mills for
five years. After, he went to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, and worked on forestry projects in
the developing world. In 1990 he transitioned to United Nations Development Program in New York to continue that
work as the Director of their forestry program. He represented UNDP in the Forestry Advisers Group, in the
International Forum on Forests and in the Interagency Task Force on Forests with a strong focus on economics and
finance of sustainable forest management. Finally, he was CEO of a private company, Candlewood Forest Group,
owning 250,000 acres of forest in northwest Argentina. They were the first FSC certified natural forest operation in that
country. Along the way he wrote three reports for the World Bank Inspection Panel, where they carefully examined
forest project policies and consequences in Brazil, D.R. Congo and Cambodia.

CELINE SOLSKEN REUBEN-SALAMA
SUMA PS5025 Corporate Sustainability Strategy and Reporting
SUMA PS5525 Consumerism and Sustainability

Celine is a business strategist focused on long-term value creation through innovation, risk reduction, efficiency, and long-term oriented sustainability planning. As American Express’ first Director of Sustainability/CSR, Celine was responsible for environmental affairs including strategy setting, implementation, and communications for the enterprise globally.

She grew up in a zero-waste household with geothermal heaters, recycling and composting in Nairobi Kenya, Stockholm, Sweden, and New York, NY, USA. Today, Celine advises large organizations on strategy and communications for environmental, social and governance issues including: climate change management, opportunity and risk identification, resilience planning, supply-chain engagement, efficiency through IT implementation, and ESG/CSR reporting. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, public sector institutions such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), as well as non-profit organizations/NGOs such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the United Nations (UN). To date, over 80 of her articles have appeared in publications such as: Consilience, the Journal of Sustainable Development; Yahoo Green; treehugger.com; Inhabitat.com; Ecogeek.org; and CSR Now!.

In addition to advisory work, Celine teaches a class in Corporate Sustainability Reporting, Strategy and Communications in the MS Sustainability Management (SUMA) program at Columbia University. Prior to Columbia, she developed the curriculum for a class in Sustainable Marketing – where traditional marketing students learn to successfully market sustainable/environmentally preferable products and services to mainstream consumers. This class was taught to MBAs and college-level students at Baruch College, CUNY for five semesters. Celine holds a Masters of Public Administration with a focus on Environmental Science and Policy (MPA ESP) from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), an MBA in Marketing and a BBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, CUNY. She is a Wallenberg Fellow, and recipient of merit-based scholarships from the Swedish-American and Scandinavian-American Foundations.

HARALAMBOS VASILIADIS
SUMA PS5146 Water Systems Analysis
SUMA PS5210 – Solid Waste Management

He has over 29 years of professional, academic and research experience and has served as Senior Vice President,
Senior Technical Advisor, and Senior Water Resources and Environmental (WR&E) Engineer on major Federal, NYS
and NYC infrastructure projects in NYC. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in WR&E Engineering from
New York University (previously known as Polytechnic University). He currently serves as Director of Environmental
Compliance with Environmental Planning and Management, Inc. and as Adjunct Professor at various Universities.

He is a Diplomate of the American Academies of Environmental Engineers (DEE), Water Resources Engineers
(D.WRE), and Industrial Hygienists (DIH). He is also a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) by the American Board of
Industrial Hygienists. His teaching and research interests include WR&E systems analysis, deterministic and stochastic
optimization and decision making, and risk analysis and assessment. His professional interests include sustainability
and resilience management of WR&E systems, environmental assessments and modeling, ambient and indoor air
quality pollution monitoring and control, hazardous materials and waste management, and quality assurance and
quality control.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In light of the evolving Covid-19 situation and the University’s guidelines for on-campus activity, Columbia University SPS Admissions has suspended all in-person campus visits for the Fall 2020 semester. We invite prospective students to drop by our virtual walk-in hours with general admissions questions.

 

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Tuesdays (10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT)

Thursdays (12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT)

 

Admissions Counselors can connect you directly to students, alumni, faculty, and facilitate virtual class visits. You can also register for an information session. Our virtual events allow you to interact with our admissions staff and learn more about the Columbia SPS community.  If you have any questions, please contact our office at inquire@sps.columbia.edu or 212-854-9666. 

 

If you would like to receive more information about the M.S. in Sustainability Management program, please contact Samantha Ostrowski, Associate Director, at sostrowski@ei.columbia.edu.

Campus Visits, Graduate School Fairs & Company Presentations

We are eager to host you on the Columbia University campus or to meet you at one of our information sessions.

Our program offers a part-time option for working professionals. If your company would like to host an information session, please contact us. For more information about the graduate school fairs that we attend throughout the United States, please contact Chandler Precht, Program Manager at cprecht@ei.columbia.edu

 

Program Contacts

Samantha Ostrowski

Associate Director

sostrowski@ei.columbia.edu

Mariví Perdomo Caba

Senior Program Manager

mp3221@columbia.edu

 

Office of Admissions
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
212-854-9666
sustainability@sps.columbia.edu

IMPORTANT DATES

 

 

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Fall 2021: May 15, 2021

Spring 2022: November 1, 2021

HBCU FELLOWSHIP DEADLINES

Program Application Deadline: December 30th

For more information about the HBCU Fellowship, 

please visit this website or contact 

hbcu-fellowship@sps.columbia.edu.

If you would like to receive more information about the M.S. in Sustainability Management program, please submit your contact information below.

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