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FACULTY ADVISORS

MS IN SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT
AND SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATIONS
FACULTY ADVISOR BIOS

As a student you will be able to select a faculty advisor to assist you as you plan your courses before and during registration, to direct you to resources available to you, and to advise you in your professional development. Your faculty advisor will be your primary resource for academic advising, but of course, you are more than welcome to reach out to any of the program’s faculty, staff, or fellow students for guidance.

 

After reviewing the faculty advisor options below, please select a faculty advisor here as early as possible, and no later than the first day of new student registration.

 

Please note that faculty advisors can only advise a limited number of students, so we encourage you to make a selection as soon as possible to make sure you get your top choice. You will be able to see the number of available advisee spots available next to the instructor’s name. If an instructor’s name does not have any remaining spots, please select your second choice. You will be notified of your confirmed faculty advisor and receive the next steps on how to schedule a meeting with your advisor within five business days.

FACULTY ADVISORS - 2023

Adela Gondek is a Lecturer in Discipline in the Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology (E3B) at Columbia University, where she has been a faculty member since 1989. She has also taught American political thought in the department of political science, and serves presently on the Earth Institute's Global Roundtable on Climate Change. Earlier in her academic career, she taught ancient, medieval, and modern political philosophy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and at Rider College.Prior to her academic career, she served as a legislative analyst in the Massachusetts Senate, where she wrote committee reports on reform in various policy fields, including consumer protection and corrections. She also does private consulting work in the field of ethics. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Goucher College in 1970, and her Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1981. Her most recent publication in the field of political philosophy is "The Dialectic of Religion and Politics" in Totalitarianism and the Challenge of Democracy, which was edited by Andrezj W. Jablonski and Wojciech Piasecki (Uniwersytet Wroclawski-Wydawnictwo 1992). 

 

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.

 

Ammar Belal is the founding partner of “ONE432”; an "Equal-Share" design philosophy, that matches Every $ Earned with a $ Donated, from each transaction, to its Artisans while sustaining an indigenous shoemaking craft. He continues to serve a select NY clientele with his, “Custom Design - Not Just Tailored”, eponymous menswear label. Ammar was the first individual from the entire South Asia/Middle East region to attend the Parsons MFA Fashion program, His multicultural articulation of design is a realization of his upbringing in Boston, Geneva, and Lahore (Pakistan). Descending from a family that pioneered manufacturing in Pakistan, he started his career by launching a Bespoke Denim label, which deciphered traditional couture techniques into street-wear; which evolved into Pakistan’s first luxury Menswear label expanding to 5 flagship stores across the country. Ammar Belal Menswear has won national design awards for “Best Emerging Talent”, “Best Original Song” and “Best Menswear” while being highlighted in the international media. (WWD, Vogue India, Guardian). accepting only 18 talents in each cohort. His graduate collection earned him a place as a key faculty member within the Parsons Design community. Ammar's trans-disciplinary narrative of teaching in both programs (BFA/MFA Fashion, BBA Business) is part of an evolving vision to explore the harmony between Design, Critical Awareness, and Social Entrepreneurship.

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.

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.

 

Celine Ruben-Salama 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!. 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.

 

Christoph Meinrenken is an associate research scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute/Climate Center, 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. Dr. Meinrenken holds a Ph.D., Max Planck Institute/Heidelberg University.

 

Dong Guo is the Director of the Earth Institute China Initiative at Columbia University. Dr. Guo also serves as the Associate Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where he is an associate research scholar. Dr. Guo teaches courses on Microeconomics and Quantitative Methods for master students in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Guo’s research interests include Chinese education, sustainable development, and environmental policy, and he has conducted many researches on China in these areas. Dr. Guo received his PhD in Economics and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and BSc in Economics from University College London.

Indrani Pal 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 master's degree in Water Resources Engineering with two prestigious scholarships from the Governments of India and Germany (DAAD). It gave her a unique opportunity to pursue graduate studies from two different countries (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the University of Stuttgart, Germany). She later completed her second master's (M.Phil) and a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) 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 the 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.

 

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.

Lynnette Widder is an Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Professional Studies  at Columbia University. She teaches four courses in the SUMA program: Responsiveness and Resilience in the Built Environment; Hungry City Workshop; Energy and Equity in the Built Environment (co-taught with Prof. Diana Hernandez, Mailman School of Public Health); and one section of the Capstone Workshop. Prof. Widder has worked as an architect in Germany, Switzerland, and the US, and was the co-founder of Aardvarchitecture, a boutique architectural design office in New York City. She was the Chair of the Department of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she was Associate Professor of Architecture until 2012. Previous research projects include innovations in compressed earth block construction, 20th-century construction history, and a variety of topics in international development. She is presently the primary investigator, working with Earth Institute colleagues on the application of community-based mobile application technology to monitor the environmental impact of the bauxite mining industry in Guinea, a project partnered with the UN Development Programme.  Prof. Widder received her Master of Architecture from Columbia University and her Doctor of Science from the Federal Technical institute of Switzerland (ETHZ). Her publications in the field of architectural history and sustainable development are ‘Sustainably Growing Guinea’s Bauxite-Aluminium Industry’ with T. Pacioni (2019); ‘Using Technological Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility to Connect Africa’s Smallholder Farmers to the Global Sustainable Agriculture Economy’ with A. Igharo and S. Merriweather (2018); Ira Rakatansky: As Modern as Tomorrow (William Stout Architectural Books, 2010); and Architectural Live Projects: Pedagogy into Practice (Taylor and Francis, 2014) with Harriet Harriss, in addition to numerous journal articles and book reviews.

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.

 

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 Program in Sustainability Management. His research interests include the value of ESG information, carbon pricing, the link between portfolio investment and sustainable development in emerging markets and the optimal use 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 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.

 

Steve Cohen is a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). In addition to his role as the Director of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, he is also Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy and the Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration Program Concentration in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Cohen serves as the Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy & Management at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. 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. 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.