Amber Sass is in her final semester of the Environmental Policy and Sustainability M.S. Program at The New School. Amber holds a B.A. in Global Studies from Hofstra University, where she focused on the impacts of globalization through culture, politics, economics, and the environment. During her time as an undergraduate, she spent semesters studying these impacts in Europe and in China. In addition to these semesters abroad, Amber has travelled to various parts of the world including: Brazil, Romania, and South Korea.
She is interested in many aspects of sustainability, including renewable energy, environmental justice, and sustainable agriculture. This has led to her working with the Sierra Club on the Beyond Coal Campaign. Currently she is interning with Food and Water Watch(FWW) working specifically to change the laws of GMO labeling in New York State.
Annie Moss, as a green business entrepreneur, leads work on sustainable and affordable access to food and co-founded La Finca del Sur—the first women-run urban farm in New York City’s South Bronx. She began her work on food systems in New York City at a school-based health center, where she expanded access to healthy food and fitness opportunities. Annie has worked with Professor Shagun Mehrotra on cities and climate change risk and response in Delhi, India. Prior to this, she worked for New York City’s largest farmer’s market coordinator to strengthen the region’s food system, through a farmland retention project and more recently on a regional grain initiative. Before moving to New York, Annie spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Maracaibo, Venezuela. She has a Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from The New School and received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Charlie Umberger worked at venture capital backed startups in New York City for three years after graduating from college. Charlie’s background compels him to understand the financial implications of environmental issues. He has conducted climate change risk assessment research on Shenzhen, China with a focus on the impacts on Urban Villages. He previously interned at Environmental Defense Fund researching ancillary benefits of domestic carbon offsets proposed in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. He was an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow working on energy efficiency at Comcast Corporation and he has done operational consulting at The Climate Museum. Charlie completed his Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at the New School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Dickinson College.
Project Manager Central America
Christine Samwaroo is interested in climate financing for adaptation strategies in developing countries. Her sustainable development experience rages from working with the Tishman Environment and Design Center, the Sustainable Working Group at Iona College, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign and City Parks Foundation. Christine is completing her Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and Environmental Studies from Iona College.
Colin Keegan works in energy management, climate change research, and environmental education—currently focusing on developing local energy generation capacity for a medical research campus in the East Bronx. Colin has worked as an environmental educator for the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey, and United For Earth, a nonprofit dedicated to finding ways to live sustainably in the modern world. Colin’s previous research has included the effects of lead contamination on rural populations in New Jersey, the social sustainability of an intentional community in Scotland and a community development organization in Newark, New Jersey, and a spatial analysis of a food chain serving low-income communities in New York City. Colin holds a BA in Social Science from Ramapo College and a MS in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School.
Eric Alper focuses on mitigation and adaptation initiatives in response to climate change. He has two years of private sector experience and is interested in researching issues of urban infrastructure resilience. His past work experience includes interning at several meteorological forecasting sites and local environmental policy and advocacy work. Eric is completing his Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Atmospheric Science from Stony Brook University.
Felix Okolo is involved in Operations Management/Process Improvement with NYC DOT. His areas of interest include development, environmental management, infrastructure, transportation and strategic planning. Since graduating with a Masters Urban Planning (MUP) from Hunter College he has worked in various capacities for the City of New York as a Program/Budget Analyst and City Planner. His last position is with NYC Department of Transportation assisting in providing the agency a roadmap to successful management of street and roadway construction projects utilizing project management best practices, project management tools and project management training. He is completing his Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School.
Project Manager Global Spatial Analytics
Glen Carswell focuses on sustainable development and urban policy. Working with the Director at the Sustainable Development Solutions center, he addresses environmental policy and urban resilience as it relates to vulnerable populations. Glen currently works for a startup in New York City that partners with municipalities to promote responsible waste behavior through education and an incentive program. During this time, he has also worked with a sustainable agriculture project in northern Ghana dealing with water stress. Glen recently completed a Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from Milano School of International Affairs, Urban Policy, and Management with The New School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Towson University.
Grace Yang is a filmmaker and explores the synthesis of digital media and museums. She has experience in advertising, design, and theatre. Her sustainable development experience ranges from working with marginal communities in Taiwan to collaborating with non-profit organization to develop sustainable and ethical merchandise supply-chains. Grace is completing her Masters in Media Studies at the New School University in New York and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Visual Arts from the University of California, Riverside. She is fluent in Mandarin and understands Taiwanese and Spanish.
Henry Gajda is interested in climate change, resiliency, and development, and their intersection with the roll urban communities’ play in decision-making and policy implementation. Henry is currently working with Urbane Development, a community development firm in New York City that focuses on creating innovative solutions to build dynamic neighborhoods in underserved sections of the city. In the summer, he is conducting climate resiliency research in Cape Town, South Africa. He is completing his Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School in New York City. He has a B.S. in Environmental Policy and received a certificate in International Agriculture and Environment from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Katherine Nehring specializes in environmental policy analysis with a focus on infrastructure and materials management. She has worked on green buildings with a DC-area nonprofit, where she helped to develop an inventory management system for reused materials for a million dollar business. Previously, she served in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, where she coordinated the newly formed Gender and Development program area, managing a campaign across 22 communities to formulate and analyze the first national survey on the prevalence of sexual harassment in secondary schools. She served on the solid waste management working group of the Sustainable DC plan, and has been involved in social and entrepreneurial activities focusing on waste and reuse over the last ten years.
Lauren Markram is interested in infrastructure development, looking at how to address the energy, water, housing, and transportation needs of vulnerable urban populations in a changing climate and environment. She draws upon private and public sector experience in conducting research for the Sustainable Development Solutions Center on issues of urban infrastructure resilience. Most recently, Lauren was engaged in park planning and hands-on natural resource management at Cape Cod National Seashore; a region suffering from the effects of storm surges and mass erosion. Her past work experience ranges from sustainability management for a global restaurant company to environmental policy analysis and advocacy in Southern Florida. Lauren is completing her Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College.
Senior Project Manager
Lina Fedirko specializes in sustainable urban development and climate change response by leveraging her background in urban policy analysis and supply side economics of the design industry. At the Sustainable Development Solutions center she collaborates with the Director in the areas of infrastructure reform, disaster risk management, and urban climate change. Lina is presently a contributing author on the policy response section of Transportation Chapter in the Climate Change and Cities, Second Assessment Report of Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), state-of-knowledge publication by UCCRN. On a local scale, Lina previously worked with a New York City development corporation on a US $1.2 million 3 year program to expand access to healthy food options for 335,000 individuals in four low-income neighborhoods of Central Brooklyn, and led a Transit-Oriented Development Zoning Study for a housing non-profit examining post Hurricane Irene flood impact and adaptation options for a town of 19,000 residents. Globally, she collaborated with UN Habitat on evaluating the effectiveness of Participatory Climate Change Risk assessment in small towns of South-East Asia and the Pacific as part of a US $6 million 5 year Cities and Climate Change Initiative, and led disaster relief efforts in western Ukraine in collaboration with local grassroots non-profit. Lina has worked on city climate risk assessment for Shanghai with a focus on infrastructure impacts and responses. Lina has a Masters in Urban Policy and Sustainability Strategies from Milano School of International Affairs, Urban Policy, and Management at the New School University, in New York City. She is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, and speaks basic Polish. Lina is currently based in Hong Kong.
Senior Program Manager
Matthew Woundy has five years of private sector experience that he leverages for crafting client-oriented solutions working closely with the Sustainable Development Solutions Center Director. He focuses on building urban resilience through climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions. He has led team-based analytical work in Africa—Climate risk and response in Dakar, Senegal and urban water sector solutions in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. His past work experience ranges from marketing to engagement with US Census’ large scale household data collection and analysis. Matt iss completing his Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Meredith Danberg-Ficarelli, is a green business entrepreneur. She founded and manages a sustainable waste management enterprise in Beirut, Lebanon. Her work has been supported by grants from the British Embassy and the Vancouver Foundation. Her enterprise is a best practice in green job creation in the Middle East drawing attention from the United Nations and international aid organizations. In collaboration with the Sustainable Development Solutions Center she conducted climate risk assessment for the city of Saõ Paulo focusing on policy responses for transportation infrastructure adaptation. She developed project specifications for a community-based social enterprise in Hue, Viet Nam that supports sustainable tourism development. She has a Masters in Urban Policy from the New School, New York.
Oisin O’Brien is interested in how cities can develop mechanisms for adapting to climate change and collaborates with the Sustainable Development Solutions Center on issues of climate change, urban energy, and transportation in East Asian and African cities. He assists in the application of Professor Shagun Mehrotra framework for city climate risk assessment on cities and has analyzed infrastructure systems in Shanghai, China and Cape Town, South Africa. He has worked on sustainable development and energy sector in Alaska and has experience with US Census’ large scale household data collection. Oisin is also a talented musician, and with his band Limbs performs across the east coast. He is completing his Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School and received his B.A. in History and Visual Art from Fordham University, New York.
Oswaldo Lucon, is a Brazilian Professor with 25 years of experience, and coordinating lead author of the Nobel Prize winning IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, and high-level adviser to Latin American and European governments on urban infrastructure, energy and climate change policies. He has published several international papers and has lectured in 27 countries around the world. With a PhD in Energy, MSc in Process Engineering, Bachelor of Law and Civil Engineering Degrees, he teaches at the University of São Paulo and was Fulbright visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has authored high-level policy documents such as São Paulo Climate Change Policy that was enacted by the State Parliament in 2009.
Poorva Bhade is interested in the cross-sector benefits of public and private partnerships in the sustainability sector, and how to better integrate climate change initiatives within the private sector. She previously interned at the NYC Department of Sanitation as a Sustainability Analyst working on decreasing electronic waste from NYC stream. In addition, she interned with the Department of Justice in the Environmental Enforcement Section conducting research on behalf of several attorneys. She is also consulting for a NYC based real estate development firm understanding Corporate Social Responsibility within the Real Estate Sector using the GRESB Assessment Survey. Poorva is a candidate for her Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School University in New York City. She earned her B.A. from Boston University in Environmental Analysis and Policy.
Shagun Mehrotra, Professor of Sustainable Development at The New School, New York and Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Center. Over the last decade and a half, his research and advice has been sought by governments in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on climate change, infrastructure economics and finance, and poverty reduction in cities. Professor Mehrotra established an international policy advisory facility jointly housed at Columbia University, and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Previously, he has served on the staff of the World Bank. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and has written and published extensively on these issues, including two recent books, one on Climate Change and Cities with Cambridge University Press and another on infrastructure with Oxford University Press. His work has featured in Nature and Scientific American and he is a reviewer for policy relevant research for Science.
Senior Program Manager
Susan Yoon has project and policy experience spanning over a decade. She leads work on infrastructure economics and sustainable development at the Sustainable Development Solutions Center in collaboration with the Director. Previously, she has worked on expanding basic services to the urban poor, including access to housing, and she has extensive experience with community driven development to extend essential services to homeless and poor households in Chicago. Prior to that, she led on the ground campaigns to combat HIV and promote health care services to high-risk communities in collaboration with healthcare institutions in San Francisco. She speaks Korean, is learning French, and applies quantitative methods for urban policy analysis. She is completing her Masters in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at The New School and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley.
Tara Whalen is interested in social policy concerning sustainable affordable housing and financing solutions for community and economic development. Tara has worked as an Environmental Educator for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, Project U.S.E., a non profit organization based in Newark, NJ, The Bureau of Land Management in Oregon, and the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in New York. Tara is completing her Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Stony Brook University.
Hans Smit, Stanley H. Fuld Professor Emeritus of Law (1927–2012). Editor, Columbia Law Review. Private practice, 1949 to 56, The Hague, The Netherlands, 1952 to 58; and New York, 1958-60. Joined the Columbia faculty in 1960. Director, Project on International Procedure, 1960-68; director, Leyden-Amsterdam-Columbia Summer Program in American Law, 1962-88; director, Project on European Legal Institutions, 1965 to 1977. Director of the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia from 1980 to 1998; director, Center for International Arbitration and Litigation Law, 1997-2005; director, Center for East European Law, 1998 to 2005. From 1960 to 1969, reporter to the U.S. Commission on International Rules of Judicial Procedure. Former adviser to the U.S. Delegation to UNCITRAL, and consultant to the Judicial Conference of the State of New York. Visiting professor, University of Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne), 1975 to 1976 and 1989 to 1992, and consultant on Legal Reform, World Bank, 1993 and 1998. Member, Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and International Academy of Comparative Law. Awarded E. M. Meijers Medal by University of Leyden (Netherlands). Was knighted by the Queen of The Netherlands (Order of Netherlands Lion). Taught civil procedure, international arbitration, international law and transactions, and conflict of laws.