Program Faculty

Thomas Abdallah
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

Thomas Abdallah, P.E. LEED AP, is the Chief Environmental Engineer for the MTA New York City Transit (NYCT). He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University and is a Professional Engineer and a LEED® Accredited Professional. Thomas has been with MTA since 1987. He has extensive experience with all areas of the environmental engineering discipline including sustainable design, energy efficiency, noise and vibration, pollution prevention and waste management. He is directly responsible for his department’s ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) that has been certified since 1999. As Chief Environmental Engineer since 2004, he provides expert environmental engineering services to ensure that all design and construction projects meet the environmental requirements of all Federal, State and Local regulations such as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Thomas has presented all over the country on sustainability issues through organizations such as the Transportation Research Board, American Public Transportation Administration, the New York Academy of Sciences, Greenbuild and has appeared in numerous media outlets touting sustainability efforts, including, Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas for a Small Planet, Discovery’s Science Channel, and PBS’ Going Green New York television program. He has appeared in a short film documentary “Postcards from the Future” which detailed Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the MTA New York City Transit system with a focus on climate change.

Howard Apsan
SUMA K4100 Sustainability Management

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.

Since 2003, he 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 served for several years in New York City government at the Mayor’s Office, the Board of Education, and the Sanitation Department, and he spent seventeen years in private consulting, including eight years as a principal, and ultimately national director, of a nation-wide consulting firm. 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.

In addition to his management and consulting activities, Apsan has also served on the United States Technical Advisory Group (US TAG) for ISO 14000, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Environmental Committee (E-50), the Springfield (New Jersey) Environmental Commission, and chaired the New York Chamber of Commerce Environment and Energy Committee and the New York Chapter of the Environmental Auditing Roundtable. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Quality Management, and writes and lectures regularly.

Jit Bajpai
SUMA K4130 Sustainable Cities

Jit Bajpai is an Adjunct Faculty (Sustainable Cities) at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, New York since 2011, and an independent consultant dealing with urban infrastructure and sustainability planning.

Prior to his current position he was Director at the World Bank where he served for twenty years in various positions including the management of Transport sector operations in East Asia and Pacific Region (EAP) and later regional operations as an Advisor to the EAP Vice-President. In addition he lead one of the largest IT modernization efforts undertaken by the Bank, Operations and Knowledge Systems Program, in support of the Bank’s internal reforms covering operational process, knowledge management and access to information. Before his World Bank career Jit worked with several firms dealing with transport and urban issues including COMSIS (US), RATP (Paris, France), Atkins & Das (India), Ministry of Works & Housing (India), and taught at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Mumbai. He is a member of the Advisory Board on Future of Urban Development for the World Economic Forum, and has served the Inter-American Development Bank and currently the Rwanda Government under the sponsorship of International Growth Center (UK).

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

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.

Eron Bloomgarden
SUMA PS5175 Global Environmental Markets

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. He has served on the board of directors of the Environmental Markets Association (EMA) and as a liaison delegate to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

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 PS5169 Sustainability Metrics
SUMA PS5530 The Paradox of Urbanization

Steven A. Caputo Jr. is an Adjunct Faculty (Sustainability Metrics; Paradox of Urbanization) at the Earth Institute since 2015, and the Principal of SCA Collaborative, an advisory firm that specializes in energy, urbanism, and strategic initiatives.

Prior to his current role, Caputo worked for the City of New York Office of the Mayor.  As Senior Advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development under Mayor Bill de Blasio, he helped oversee the creation of 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 advised on energy policy and directed the NYC Clean Heat program, which successfully 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, where he collaborated with city agencies to coauthor the award winning 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 resident at Lijiang Studio in Yunnan Province, China.

Caputo has a B.A. in Architecture and a certificate in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. He attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and earned a Master of Public Administration Degree from the School of International and Public Affairs.

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.”

Benjamin Cook
SUMA PS5230 Earth’s Climate System

Benjamin Cook is an Adjunct Research Scientist at the Earth Institute’s Lamont-Dougherty 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.

Todd Cort
SUMA PS5375 State of the Data in Sustainability

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.

Susanne DesRoches
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

Jonathan Dickinson
SUMA PS5035 GHG Emissions: Measuring and Minimizing the Carbon Footprint

Jonathan Dickinson is a consultant with more than 18 years of environmental and sustainability experience in the government, not-for-profit, health care, and academic sectors. He is the Director of Sustainability Services for Cventure LLC, a consultant providing third-party greenhouse gas emissions verification, sustainability strategy, and greenhouse gas emissions inventory development services to corporate and public sector clients. Jonathan is also an independent sustainability consultant, 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. 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. Jonathan previously served as the Deputy Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination, where he focused on climate change policy, brownfields redevelopment, and environmental impact analysis, and worked for several years in the environmental education field. He holds a B.A. in English from Hobart College and a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Claudia Dreifus
SUMA PS5180 Writing Global Science International Media

Claudia Dreifus writes the “Conversation with…” feature of the Tuesday science section of the New York Times, and is known internationally for her unusual interviews with scientists, policymakers, and international figures. She is the author of Scientific Conversations: Interviews on Science from the New York Times (Times Books 2002) and a book of political and cultural interviews, “Interview” (Seven Stories Press 1999), which is used in journalism programs worldwide. Professor Dreifus, who teaches Magazine Writing With An International Dateline, has filed stories from places as diverse as Central America, Northern Ireland, Burma, South Africa, Chile, and Puerto Rico. In her course, emphasis is placed on developing practical skills with real world applications. Using the diverse possibilities of New York City as a base, students are encouraged to develop the skills they will need to produce magazine articles from international locales.

Her work appears in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Smithsonian, AARP-The Magazine, and Scientific American. Once, long ago and on a planet faraway, she worked as a Playboy interviewer, as well as feature writer for Ms. Magazine. She has also been an interviewer, over the years, for every major New York City newspaper, including Newsday, the New York Post, and the Daily News. For the past thirteen years, she has been associated with the New York Times, first as a contributing writer to the Sunday Magazine and now in the same position in the Tuesday Science Times.

Gregory Falco
SUMA PS5360 Sustainability Technology and the Evolution of Smart Cities

Gregory Falco is an executive at Accenture Strategy & Sustainability where he leads the Climate Resilience offering and is building Accenture Digital’s Smart City business. At Accenture, he advises clients ranging from major utilities to small, international cotton non-profits on sustainability, energy management, market strategy and technology programs. Partnering closely with Microsoft, Falco has helped establish and worked with public-private-partnerships to foster, strategize and then implement the Smart City of Chicago and Seattle. Prior to his time at Accenture, Falco independently consulted for the UN Foundation and developed LEED buildings for Tishman Speyer. He specializes in bridging the gap between sustainability theory and practice which is the foundation of his teaching methods. Falco is an internationally recognized inventor and thought-leader in sustainability technology and has lectured at and presented for the US 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 graduated from Columbia University’s M.S. in Sustainability Management, holds a B.S. from Cornell University and is pursuing his Ph.D. at MIT.

Luke Falk
SUMA PS5135 Analysis for Energy Efficiency

Luke Falk is the Sustainability Manager at the Related Companies where, under direction of the Vice President for Sustainability, he supports the implementation of Related’s corporate sustainability strategy. This includes a focus on enhancing the energy performance of new and existing buildings, benchmarking, monitoring, verification, and the incorporation of innovative technologies.

Prior to joining Related, Falk was a Project Manager for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In that capacity he managed NYSERDA’s suite of state-wide energy efficiency and green building programs targeting the multifamily housing market; these programs’ collective budget exceeded $250 Million. He also managed much of NYSERDA’s intergovernmental and policy coordination pertaining to multifamily housing.

Before receiving his appointment at Columbia, he was an Adjunct Professor at The Cooper Union, where he taught in the Green Building Design Certificate Program housed in the School of Continuing Education. He was also the Chair of BuildingEnergy09, the annual conference of the North East Sustainable Energy Association, and was a member of both the national working group that developed the ENERGY STAR label for multifamily high rise construction and the LEED for Homes Midrise-Pilot technical subcommittee during the development of that program.

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.

Scott Fisher
SUMA PS5197 Financing the Green Economy

Scott Fisher is Director, Market Development at EVgo, the country’s largest electric vehicle fast charging network with 700 fast charging stations in over 35 metro markets.  In this role, Scott focuses on building financing partnerships governments, utilities and automakers to expand EVgo’s DC charging station footprint across the U.S.

EVgo was recently spun off from NRG Energy, where Scott worked for 10 years.  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 and was the 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.

Scott has taught “Financing the Green Economy” as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia at Columbia University’s Earth Institute since 2011. He graduated from Yale School of Management holds a BA from Vassar College

Adam Freed
SUMA PS5169 Sustainability Metrics

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 J. Gondek is a Lecturer in Discipline at Columbia University, where she has been a faculty member since 1989. In the School of International and Public Affairs, she teaches public ethics in the Executive Master of Public Administration Program and environmental ethics in the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy. In the School of Continuing Education, she teaches ethics for sustainability management; and in the undergraduate Sustainable Development Program at the Earth Institute, she teaches ethics for sustainable development. She has also taught American political thought in the Department of Political Science, and Contemporary Civilization within the Core Curriculum Program of Columbia 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 ethics is Thinking of Environmental Ethics, prefatory essay and editor of six articles, Cosmopolis-Globalist (, June 2012.

Richard Horsch
SUMA PS5720 Policy and Legal Context

Richard Horsch is a recently retired as a partner at the international law firm of White & Case LLP. While at White & Case, Mr. Horsch concentrated his practice on domestic and international environmental matters, including environmental litigation. In the international area, Mr. Horsch addressed environmental issues arising in such countries as Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea. He frequently advised clients on international conventions and treaties, multilateral development bank standards (e.g., World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, IFC), and evolving international environmental and sustainable development standards and norms, including the Equator Principles.

While at White & Case Mr. Horsch, among other things, served as legal advisor to a sovereign nation in its establishment and start-up of a Designated National Authority (“DNA”) to review and approve proposed projects developed under the Clean Development Mechanism (“CDM”) of the Kyoto Protocol, including advising on the development and implementation of sustainable development principles to guide the DNA in its decisions on whether to approve proposed projects. He was an advisor to an international oil company in identifying and implementing projects to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. He advised a sovereign nation on its negotiation of the regulatory framework for carbon capture and sequestration projects under the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. Horsch has written and lectured frequently on international environmental law and climate change issues. He is an annual contributor (since 2005) to the Environmental Section of Year-in-Review, an annual publication of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. (He authors the section discussing developments regarding the Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal).

Mr. Horsch 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 serves on the Board of Directors 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.

Prior to joining White & Case, Mr. Horsch clerked for the Hon. Frederick B. Lacey, U.S. District Judge, District of New Jersey, Judge, Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, from 1980-1981. 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.Since 2007 Mr. Horsch has been an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law and International Environmental Law at Seton Hall Law School.

Klaus Jacob
SUMA PS5330 Disaster Risk Management and Sustainable Urban Resilience

Klaus Jacob has worked at Columbia University for over forty years.  He started as research associate in geophysics and seismology at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (1968-73). Since 1973 he has been a Senior Research Scientist at LDEO, a position from which he retired in 2001. Presently, Professor Jacob is a part-time Special Research Scientist at LDEO and a Lecturer at the School of Continuing Education. He has also taught at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Barnard College (1999-2005), the Graduate School for Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (2001-2003), and the School of International and Public Affairs (2000-2014).

Dr. Jacob’s research career evolved from basic Earth sciences to disaster risk management, regulatory policies and infrastructure/urban development; he bridges the interface of Earth science, engineering and public affairs. His focus is climate change and earthquakes. His basic research in seismology and tectonics stretched over 5 continents. Dr. Jacob cofounded the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research; contributed to the U.S. National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program’s National Seismic Hazard Maps. He coauthored the U.S. national model and the New York City seismic building codes.

He worked with the Emergency Management Communities at the federal, state, and local levels on risk mitigation strategies, including the recovery phase of the WTC disaster in NYC. He specializes in multi-hazard risk assessment, quantitative disaster loss estimation, and disaster mitigation research. Recent research include risks from global climate change, sea level rise, coastal storm surges, flooding and inundation, primarily of infrastructure systems in global megacities; and the sustainability of cities vis-à-vis natural hazards.

Dr. Jacob has (co-) authored more than 150 scientific and technical publications and book chapters. Sample publications are: “Responding to Climate Change in NY State”; Chapter 9: Transportation; Chapter 10: Telecommunication (NY Acad. Sc., 2011); “Climate Change Adaptation in NYC”; Chapter 7: Indicators and Monitoring (NYAS, 2010); “Potential Impacts of Climate Change on US Transportation” (NRC/NAS, 2008); “Vulnerability of the NYC Metropolitan Area to Coastal Hazards, Including Sea-Level Rise: Inferences for Urban Coastal Risk Management and Adaptation Policies” (Elsevier, 2006);  “Multihazard Risks in Caracas, Venezuela”, Chapter 5 in ‘Natural Disaster Hotspots – Case Studies’ (World Bank, 2006); and “Futuristic Hazard and Risk Assessment: How do We Learn to Look Ahead (Invited Commentary)” in Natural Hazard Observer (July 2000). Past projects include “Urban Planning of a Disaster-Resilient Mega-City” with regional focus on Caracas, Venezuela (2001); Istanbul, Turkey (2002); and Accra, Ghana (2003); a seismic hazard analysis for the Republic of Singapore. Dr.  Jacob has testified before U.S. Congressional Committees. He works with professional organizations and the media. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, Seismological Society of America, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the American Geological Institute. Mayor Bloomberg appointed him to the New York Panel on Climate Change (NPCC, 2008-present); he also served on NY State’s Sea Level Rise Task Force, and as research adviser to the post-Sandy US HUD program “Rebuild by Design”.

Professor Jacob earned a BS in Mathematics and Physics at the Technical University, Darmstadt (1960); a MS in Geophysics (1963) from Gutenberg University, Mainz; and a PhD (1968) from Goethe University, Frankfurt, all in Germany. He was a research associate in geophysics at University of Frankfurt 1964 to 1968; and a visiting scientist at the BP Research Center, Sunbury-on-Thames, U.K. (1963-64).

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 is the Director of Science and Programs at Teatown Lake Reservation in Westchester County, New York.  Teatown Lake Reservation is a 1,000-acre nature preserve and non-profit environmental education center that seeks to inspire local communities to lifelong environmental stewardship by promoting ecological literacy.  Scientific research, on-the-ground stewardship, community collaboration centered on sustainability and conservation issues, and education of K-12 students, college students, and the public is essential to this work.

Prior to her position at Teatown, Karpati 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 also 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.

Phil LaRocco
SUMA PS5150 Energy and Sustainable Development

Philip LaRocco is the founder, Executive Director and CEO of E+Co, the leading practitioner of the enterprise-centered model of investing in energy businesses in developing countries. Since 1998, E+Co has invested in more than one hundred and fifty enterprises, and mobilized more than $152 million of capital. These enterprises provide modern energy to 3.4 million people; save 462,000 tons of firewood and charcoal; displace $18 million of fossil fuel; and offset 13.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the life of E+Co’s investments.

E+Co, a not-for-profit, public purpose investment company, has offices in Bolivia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, the Netherlands, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.

LaRocco has over thirty years of international experience. Until 1990 he served as the Director of World Trade and Economic Development for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with responsibility for the World Trade Center (NY), a network of trade development offices and a portfolio of industrial development and waste-to-energy projects. He was awarded the Port Authority’s Distinguished Service Medal in 1990.

In addition to his duties as E+Co’s CEO, Mr. LaRocco focuses on strategic planning, financing structures and the creation of practical, hands-on training materials for entrepreneurs, financial professionals, development practitioners and policy makers. More than 800 entrepreneurs in over thirty developing countries.

Jenna Lawrence
SUMA K4140 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 Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont Doherty Observatory and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. He is also the Director of the Center for Rivers and Estuaries at Columbia University, where he and other university scientists conduct research activities using the environment of the Hudson River Estuary to learn more about global biogeochemical processes. His research interests include ocean-atmosphere-land-urban interactions as well as biogeochemical, water, heat, and pollutant cycling in urban and natural environments. Previously, he was an Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of marine science and engineering. In addition, McGillis has published articles in numerous publications, the most recent of which was entitled “Sea surface and pCO2 and O2 in the Southern Ocean during the austral fall, 2008” (Journal of Geophysical Research, 2011). He also served as the editor of the book Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces (Kyoto University Press, 2011).

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.

Curtis Probst
SUMA PS5197 Financing the Green Economy

Curtis Probst is a Managing Director at Rocky Mountain Institute, a global energy think tank, where he leads their sustainable finance practice. Probst also serves on the Board of Directors of NYCEEC and the Management Advisory Board of the Earth Institute. He has been an innovator in asset finance, energy and sustainability, participating in over $50 billion of financings for corporate and governmental clients.

Prior to joining RMI, Curtis worked at Goldman Sachs for over 15 years, most recently as a Managing Director in their investment banking division. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Probst worked at Salomon Brothers for over eight years, most recently as a Vice President in their structured and project finance group.

Probst has frequently spoken at industry events and guest lectured on energy finance. He holds an MPA from Columbia University, a BComm from the University of Calgary, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

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.

Lucius Riccio
SUMA PS5033 Decision Models and Management

Lucius Riccio is a Senior Lecturer in Discipline at Columbia Business School, where he teaches business analytics, optimization and simulation, and operations management. He 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 (now INFORMS) 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.

William Russell
SUMA PS5195 Green Accounting

William Russell is an adjunct professor and research fellow at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he developed his own curriculum for sustainability metrics and sustainability finance courses. He also serves as the principal of a sustainability management consulting company called Transitioning to Green Inc., where he leads the business consulting services and develops strategic sustainability plans and programs. A global leader in sustainability with over 25 years of experience in the field, Russell founded SKN Worldwide-USA, Inc., a sustainability consulting and technology services company. In 2004, he founded Sustainability Knowledge Network, a collaborative workspace portal to educate and engage businesses with customized sustainability solutions to improve their economic, environmental, and social performance. Previously, Russell has served as the managing director of SustainEdge, where he was responsible for the implementation of the company’s greenhouse gas accounting. Russell has worked with a broad range of clients, including government and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, nonprofits, and small and large corporations. Russell is the co-editor and lead author of The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook: When it all comes together.

Russell has a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. in finance from Rutgers University. Russell is affiliated with Fairleigh Dickenson University’s Institute for Sustainable Enterprise as well as a member the University of Michigan’s ERB Institute.

George Sarrinikolaou
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

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 has also written for The New York Times and reported for CNN and Public Radio International. He holds an M.P.A. and a master of arts in English from Columbia University, and a B.A. cum laude in English from Cornell University.

Ralph Schmidt
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 when the Peace Corps sent him to Colombia to work with poor farmers.  They were in a tropical forest and that is where he got interested in understanding it better. He then 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 by a friend in the Puerto Rico government to be the head of the Puerto Rico Forest Service. Here he managed a beautiful system of protected areas, as well as tree nurseries and saw mills. After five years at that he went to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, and worked on forestry projects of all kinds 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.

Schmidt has abundant experience with the international assistance system, as it regards biodiversity and natural resources, and is happy to discuss that with students.

Celine Solsken Ruben-Salama
SUMA PS5025 Sustainability Communications Strategy and Reporting

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;;;; 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.

Carter Strickland
SUMA PS5690 Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities

Currently, Carter Strickland is a Vice-President at HDR, a top 10 ranked architecture and engineering firm, where his projects include resiliency at Hunts Point, infrastructure development for a three-state consortium in the Western U.S., a greenhouse gas study for NYC, and advising cities, water and wastewater utilities, and other clients on sustainability matters. Carter has been active in the New York and New Jersey environmental communities for over 20 years, representing groups as a lawyer with the New York Attorney General’s office and Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic in a wide variety of matters, from public trust to hazardous waste to eminent domain cases.

Carter has extensive operational experience in a challenging urban and media environment, and has created and executed several long-term sustainability strategies, operational efficiency initiatives, and organizational restructuring plans. As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability team, and later as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Carter created and implemented integrated approaches to infrastructure, water quality, air quality, climate change, land use, ecological restoration, and energy issues. He was the architect of the $2.4 billion NYC Green Infrastructure Plan and the Clean Heat Plan, oversaw integrated watershed protection efforts, and conceived the city’s Wastewater Resilience Plan. He worked on NYC’s Stormwater Management Plan after the first MS4 permit, led the agency’s response to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, and initiated strategic and structural reform initiatives.

He served as a board member with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and is currently a board member of the New York Harbor Foundation, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, and the Natural Areas Conservancy. Carter graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and Columbia Law School. He is currently also the adjunct professor at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, New York.

Lynnette Widder
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop
SUMA PS5119 Empirical Approaches to Building Energy Assessment
SUMA PS5030 Hungry City Workshop
SUMA PS5162 Responsiveness and Resilience in the Built Environment

Lynnette Widder is the Principal and Co-founder of aardvarchitecture, a small architectural practice specializing in residential work with an emphasis on high-quality innovative construction. The practice’s designs have been featured in various publications including the New York Times, Time Out New York, and the HGTV series, Small Space Big Style. Prior to starting aardvarchitecture, Widder was the English-language editor of Daidalos Architecture Quarterly, a Berlin-based publication covering contemporary architecture. In 2011, she worked as a consultant for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital Innovations Group.

Widder has over fifteen years of experience teaching design, conducting seminars, and organizing architectural excursions for architecture students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was an Associate Professor of Architecture, and later the head of the architecture department, at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has held teaching posts at ETH Zurich, University of British Columbia, Cornell University, Cranbrook Academy of Art, City College of New York, and Columbia University. Widder earned her B.A. in Architecture from Barnard College (1985), and her M.A. in Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (1990). She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland.