Program Faculty

Thomas Abdallah
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

Thomas Abdallah, P.E. LEED AP, is the Deputy Vice President and Chief Environmental Engineer for the MTA New York City Transit. 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. Thomas has extensive experience including sustainable design, energy efficiency, noise and vibration, pollution prevention, waste management, and is directly responsible for New York City Transit’s certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. He is also in charge of several LEED projects including the Corona Maintenance Shop, the first U.S. transportation facility to gain certification, and the Gold Certified Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot. 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, and Greenbuild. Thomas has appeared on the Sundance Channel, Discovery’s Science Channel, PBS, NPR and has appeared in a short film documentary “Postcards from the Future” about Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the MTA. Thomas is the author of Sustainable Mass Transit: Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Public Transportation, which discusses the sustainable attributes of mass transportation, and the ways it can become more energy efficient, less reliant on fossil fuels, and reduce carbon footprint.

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.

Howard Apsan
SUMA PS4100 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 PS4130 Sustainable Cities

Jitendra N. Bajpai (Jit) is an urbanist and independent consultant with interest in promoting sustainability principles in urban development and delivery of infrastructure services.  Since 2011, Jit has taught Sustainable Cities.  Prior to his current position, he served the World Bank (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.  Before his World Bank career Jit worked with several firms dealing with transport and urban issues including COMSIS (US, 1983-90), RATP (Paris, France, 1977-78), Atkins & Das (India, 1980), Ministry of Works & Housing (India, 1973-74), and as an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Mumbai, 1981- 83), and as a visiting faculty at the IIT (Mumbai, 2015) and Indian School of Business (ISB, 2016-17).  He is a member of the Advisory Board on Future of Urban Development for the World Economic Forum, and has recently served the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (Washington, DC), Brookings Institution (Washington, DC), the Rwanda and Uganda Governments under the sponsorship of International Growth Center (UK) 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 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.

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 Times and 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.

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. 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.

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.

Jonah Busch
SUMA PS4190 Economics for Sustainability Management

Jonah Busch is an environmental economist who researches climate change and tropical deforestation. Dr. Busch has published more than twenty articles on forests, climate, and biodiversity in academic journals including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics, and Environmental Research Letters. He is the co-author of Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. He has also published on the economics of penguins, pandas, and surfers.

Dr. Busch is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development. He serves on the editorial board of Conservation Letters and the advisory board for the Center for Carbon Removal. He has advised on climate and forests for the President of Guyana, the governments of Norway, Indonesia, Bolivia, Suriname, Colombia, the United Kingdom, and California, the Global Environment Facility, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, and Green Climate Fund.

Previously, Dr. Busch has been a visiting scholar at Zhejiang University and University of California-Berkeley; Climate and Forest Economist at Conservation International; and a high school math teacher in the Peace Corps (Burkina Faso, ‘00-‘02).

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.

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-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.

Robert Cook
SUMA PS5200 Integrative Capstone Workshop

Robert Cook is the Program Director for Conservation and Medical Research at the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Prior to that he worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society for over two decades serving as the Chief Veterinarian and Vice President and then as the General Director and Executive Vice President of Living Institutions. 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 flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these parks house some 1300 species of wild animals and are visited by over 4 million guests per year. He was also responsible for programs in global wildlife health, education, curatorial and species conservation and exhibit design. As a wildlife veterinarian and then as head of the health programs he worked extensively in rural international settings and on global policy issues focusing on the health of people, domestic animals and wildlife. In addition, Dr. Cook serves as Science Advisor to the Mayday Fund, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to the alleviation of physical pain in people.

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.

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.

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 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. Dickinson 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 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.

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.

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.

Scott has taught “Financing the Clean Energy Economy” as an Adjunct Professor 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
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.

Dan Giuffrida
SUMA PSPS5650 Solar Project Development

Dan Giuffrida is a Vice President in Finance at Safari Energy, a turnkey commercial scale solar developer based in New York. Dan manages and leads the finance team at Safari, with a focus on tailoring financial solutions for clients and structuring and arranging debt, lease, and tax equity financing. In this role, Dan has been involved in developing over 70 MW of projects in operation at Safari.

Prior to joining Safari, Dan was a Lok Capital Fellow at Suryoday Microfinance where he led new market strategy & product development. Previously, Dan was an investment banking analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he focused on the Power, Utilities & Renewables industry. At BAML, Dan was responsible for conducting complex financial analysis on mergers, acquisitions, and debt and equity capital transactions in excess of $3 billion. Dan received an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and holds a B.A. cum laude in Economics from Wake Forest University.

Adela Gondek
SUMA PS5700 Ethics and Values for Sustainability Management

Adela J. Gondek teaches public and sustainability ethics at Columbia University, where she is a Lecturer in Discipline in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology.  A political scientist specializing in the fields of political philosophy and U.S. government, she teaches ethics for public leadership in the Executive and Global Executive MPA programs, and environmental ethics in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, at the School of International and Public Affairs.  She also teaches sustainability ethics in the MS in Sustainability Management program at the School of Professional Studies, and an undergraduate ethics course in the Sustainable Development Program at the Earth Institute.

Dr. Gondek is an Associate of the Centre for Business and Public Sector Ethics in Cambridge, England.  She has taught ethics in the MBA program at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and at the Externado University of Colombia.  Prior to her academic career, she served as a legislative analyst in the Massachusetts Senate, with expertise in consumer product safety and corrections reform.  She received her B.A., Summa cum laude, from Goucher College, and her Ph.D. in political philosophy and U.S. government in the Department of Government, with concurrent studies at the Kennedy School of Government, Law School and Divinity School at Harvard University.  Her research interests include environmental and sustainability ethics, public ethics, cross-sector corruption, organizational leadership and management, and transformative learning.

Recent publications include The Intersection of Business and Ethics: Transformative Learning as a Facilitator of Ethical Behavior in the Financial Sector (with Rachel Fichter and Katharina Weghmann, Proceedings of the 12th International Transformative Learning Conference, 2016); Poems of Enlightenment (with Jingtian Guo, poet, Rongxiang Jia, poet, Tigang Guo, calligrapher, and Yujie Kang, artist (Beijing, China:  World Knowledge Press, 2015); Sector-Based Sustainability Ethics, Consilience:  The Journal of Sustainable Development (2014); and Sustainability Ethics and Metrics (Earth Institute Research Program in Sustainability Policy and Management, 2013).

Richard Horsch
SUMA PS5720 Policy and Legal Context
SUMA PS5301 International Environmental Law

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.

Stephanie Johnston
SUMA PS5470 Circular Economy for Sustainability Professionals

Originally from the UK, Stephanie graduated from Oxford University in 2006 and SOAS University of London in 2007.

After moving to London she forged a career in marketing and communications, working in both agency and corporate environments for nearly 10 years. During that time she developed a special interest in corporate sustainability and has worked with a number of global organizations, including BASF, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Roche and Tesco, on their sustainability strategies and communications processes.

It was partly her interest in Sustainability that brought Stephanie to New York in 2015: she was keen to explore the status of the sustainability environment in the USA. She currently leads the Sustainable Business Department at HEINEKEN USA, where she supports the implementation of the global “Brewing a Better World” framework for the brewer’s US operations.

Through her additional work as a freelance writer Stephanie took a special interest in the concept of The Circular Economy, and has most recently explored the challenge of companies, including her own company HEINEKEN, in Mexico, adopting complex sustainability principles through this lens in particular.

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

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. Some of his work includes creating a step-by-step guide titled Money Management for Energy Enterprises, preparing a Toolkit for Energy Entrepreneurs for UNEP and the UN Foundation, authoring an on-line training and coaching program for energy entrepreneurs, and together with Maria Salinas, authoring a UNFCCC technology transfer financing guidebook titled Guidebook on Preparing and Presenting Proposals. Some of his recent clients include the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, NREL’s Clean Energy Solutions Center, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center,, Energy for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean (ESD) Project, Miller Center at the University of Santa Clara, Embark Energy, and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

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.

Arthur Lerner-Lam
SUMA PS4734 Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Leadership

Arthur Lerner-Lam is the Deputy Director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, located in Palisades, New York. A seismologist, he 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 the Middle East, Europe, Central and South Asia, the Southwest Pacific, 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.

At Columbia University, Lerner-Lam teaches in the masters programs in sustainability management and environmental science and policy. In addition, he and colleagues are developing a new masters program in sustainability science. These programs provide a broad and quantitative understanding of the environment, including Earth’s climate, and foster critical thinking about the public policies and private sector management principles needed for resiliency and sustainability. With colleagues from political science, economics and international affairs, Lerner-Lam also has developed related curricula on sustainability management and sustainable investing suited for intensive executive education certificate programs.

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, San Diego. He has held Post-doctoral positions at Scripps and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 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.

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).

Christoph Meinrenken
SUMA PS5021 Theory and Practice of Life Cycle Analysis

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.

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.

Vance Merolla
SUMA PS5170 Sustainable Operations

Vance Merolla is the Global Director of Environmental Sustainability for Colgate-Palmolive Company, a consumer products company based in New York City, responsible for leading Colgate’s worldwide programs around climate, energy efficiency, water stewardship, landfill waste reduction, and sustainable buildings.

Prior to his current 20 years with Colgate, he was an environmental consulting group manager for the URS Corporation. Vance holds a BS 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.

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. 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 with two esteemed international scholarships (Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and Overseas Research Scholarship). 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 (Assistant Professor), 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. After a 3.5-years of service at the University of Colorado, she decided to move back to the East Coast and (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, a cooperative research institute of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization (NOAA), housed within the City University of New York (City College of New York).

Curtis Probst
SUMA PS5197 Financing the Clean Energy Economy

Curtis Probst is an innovator in asset finance, energy and sustainability, having participated in over $50 billion of financing for corporate and governmental clients. For three years he has been a Lecturer at Columbia University on the topic of clean energy finance. He is also a Director at Willdan Group, parent of Willdan Energy Solutions, and a Director at New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation. He also serves on the Management Advisory Board of the Earth Institute.

His prior experience includes over three years as a Managing Director at Rocky Mountain Institute, a global energy think tank, leading their sustainable finance practice. Curtis previously 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.

He has spoken at numerous conferences in the United States, Canada and Europe, and authored or co-authored reports on different energy and financing topics. Curtis received a BComm from the University of Calgary and an MPA from Columbia University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Stamford.

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 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.

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 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 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 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.

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.

Celine Solsken Ruben-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;;;; 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.

Haralambos Vasiliadis
SUMA PS5146 Water Systems Analysis

Haralambos (Bob) Vasiliadis has over 28 years of professional, academic and research experience and has served as Senior Technical Advisor, Senior Environmental Compliance Professional, Senior Project Manager, or as Senior Environmental Engineer and Hygienist on various GSA, NYNJPA, NYSDOT, MTA, NYCDOT, NYCDEP, etc., major infrastructure projects in NYC. He currently serves as Director of Environmental Compliance with Environmental Planning and Management, Inc. (EPM) and previously, as the Senior Vice President with M&J Engineering P.C., where he led the division of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering.

Professor Vasiliadis is a diplomate of the Academies of Environmental Engineers, Water Resources Engineers, and Industrial Hygienists. He is also a Certified Industrial Hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygienists. His professional interests include performing design and analysis of sustainable and resilient water resources and environmental systems, risk analysis and management, environmental assessments and modeling, ambient and indoor air quality and noise monitoring and control, hazardous materials and waste management, and quality assurance and quality control. He enjoys teaching courses in water resources, environmental engineering, and statistics. In addition to his course in the Sustainability Management program at Columbia University, Dr. Vasiliadis is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and City College of the City University of New York.

Dr. Vasiliadis received his Master of Science (M.Sc.) in 1988 and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Water Resources from New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering (previously known as Polytechnic University), New York in 1991.

Lynnette 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 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), her M.A. in Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (1990) and her Sc.D. in Construction and Architectural History from the ETH Zurich (2016).