Author Biographies from “A Better Planet”

A Better Planet header
“A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future,” a practical, bipartisan call to action from the world’s leading thinkers on the environment and sustainability, was published by Yale University Press in October 2019.

Alexia Akbay holds a Master of Public Health from Yale School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the effect of petroleum-based materials on human reproductive health. She was one of 20 candidates nominated for the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award in 2018.

Saleem H. Ali is the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor in Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, a Senior Fellow at Columbia University's Center on Sustainable Investment, and a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Queensland. Professor Ali is a member of the United Nations International Resource Panel and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. His research and practice focuses on resolving ecological conflicts and exploring novel ways of peace-building between corporations, governments, and communities.

Frederick W. (Derry) Allen served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in various roles for 37 years, focusing on a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues. He was presented with the agency’s Distinguished Career Service Award upon retirement. He also served at several other federal agencies—and as elected leader of three nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. He serves on the board of the EPA Alumni Association, co-chairing a project on the future of environmental protection and EPA.

Paul T. Anastas is a synthetic chemist at Yale University who is on the faculty of the School of the Environment and the Yale School of Public Health with additional appointments to the Chemistry Department, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of Management. He is the founding Director of the Yale Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and his research focuses on the design of sustainable products from the molecular level to materials to systems. Anastas has served in the Administrations of four U.S. Presidents most recently as a Senate-confirmed Head of R&D at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has co-founded four companies, published 14 books on sustainable science and technology and has written over 150 peer-reviewed research papers. He is recognized as the "Father of Green Chemistry” and credited with founding the field in 1991 and has received numerous awards including three Honorary Doctorates, two Honorary Professorships, the Heinz Prize, the Jeyes Medal, the Rachel Carson Award, and the E.O. Wilson Prize.

Mark Ashton is the Morris K. Jesup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology at the Yale School of the Environment, where he has served as the Director of School Forests since 2001. He conducts research on the biological and physical processes governing the regeneration of natural forests and on the creation of their agroforestry analogs. In particular, he seeks a better understanding of regeneration establishment among assemblages of closely related trees. A prolific researcher and writer, he is the author of two seminal textbooks on silviculture and agroforestry: Silvicultural Basis for Agroforestry Systems; The Practice of Silviculture: Applied Forest Ecology.

Michelle L. Bell is a Professor of Environmental Health at the Yale University School of the Environment, with secondary appointments at the Yale School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, Environmental Engineering Program. Bell's research investigates how human health is affected by atmospheric systems, including air pollution and weather. Much of this work is based in epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental engineering. The research is designed to be policy-relevant and contribute to well-informed decision-making to better protect human health. She is the recipient of the Prince Albert II de Monaco / Institut Pasteur Award, Rosenblith New Investigator Award, and the NIH Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award.

Lori S. Bennear is Juli Plant Grainger Associate Professor of Energy Economics and Policy at Nicholas School of the Environment, with additional appointments at the Sanford School of Public Policy, and Economics Department at Duke University. She is the Associate Director for Educational Programs at the Duke University Energy Initiative. Her research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of flexible environmental policies.

Susan Biniaz is a former Deputy Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. She was the lead climate lawyer, and a negotiator, from 1989 until early 2017. Since leaving the State Department, she has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Energy Policy Institute of Chicago and lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School; a David Sive Visiting Scholar at the Columbia Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and a lecturer at Columbia Law School; a Senior Fellow at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a lecturer at the Jackson Institute, Yale School of the Environment, and Yale Law School; and an Associate Researcher at the French think tank IDDRI. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the UN Foundation, a Senior Advisor at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Climate Advisers, and a lecturer at Yale Law School.

Samara Brock is pursuing her Ph.D. at the Yale School of the Environment. She holds a master’s in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, and a master’s in Food Culture from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. She has worked to establish urban agriculture projects in Cuba and Argentina, as a food systems planner for the City of Vancouver, and more recently as a program officer for the Tides Canada Foundation, funding nonprofit organizations working on complex conservation, climate change, and food security initiatives. Her current research focuses on the development of environmental knowledge and expertise through engaging with organizations that are attempting to transform the future of the global food system.

Craig R. Brodersen is an Associate Professor of Physiological Plant Ecology at the Yale School of the Environment. His work focuses on the structure and function of plants, with a particular interest in how plants efficiently utilize two of the most limiting resources on Earth: water and light. His work is aimed at developing a better understanding of the tradeoffs faced by plants in assembling transport systems that are both safe and efficient. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Biology at the University of Vermont in 2008.

Amanda Brown-Stevens is Managing Director of Resilient by Design. She oversaw the Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge—an unprecedented collaboration between local communities, environmental advocates, design professionals, academic institutions, local jurisdictions, scientific organizations, and other stakeholders to bring an innovative design effort to plan for sea level rise impacts around San Francisco Bay. Amanda now continues to lead a regional effort to move these ideas from vision to reality, to proactively reduce the region's flood risk before it faces a major natural disaster, through creative, nature-based solutions that benefit communities today and in the future. Prior to this effort, Amanda helped communities throughout California develop and pass public finance measures raising hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding for conservation, parks, and other essential infrastructure. She has also worked with communities throughout the nine-county Bay Area to protect the region’s iconic natural areas and encourage the right development in the right places. Amanda holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Wesleyan University and an M.P.P. from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She lives with her family in Oakland, CA.

Gary Brudvig received his B.S. (1976) from the University of Minnesota, his Ph.D. (1981) from the California Institute of Technology and was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley from 1980 to 1982. He has been on the faculty at Yale University since 1982 and is currently the Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. Since 2012, Brudvig has been the founding Director of the Yale Energy Sciences Institute located at Yale’s West Campus where he oversees the development of new research programs and facilities related to renewable energy, alternative fuels, and carbon management. Gary Brudvig’s research involves study of the chemistry of solar energy conversion in photosynthesis and work to develop artificial bioinspired systems for solar fuel production. He has published over 400 papers on these topics (see:

Austin Bryniarski is a Master's of Environmental Science candidate at the Yale School of the Environment. Austin is academically and professionally interested in food and environmental politics, and his current research centers on corporate influence in articulations of food systems reform. At Yale, Austin works with the Environmental Protection Clinic, chairs the Yale Food Systems Symposium, and conducts policy research as a Kerry Fellow. In New Haven, Austin serves as chair of the New Haven Food Policy Council and is involved with a number of food justice efforts. Before graduate school, Austin was the Lazarus Fellow at the Yale Sustainable Food Program, and graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in environmental studies.

Ingrid C. "Indy" Burke, Ph.D. is Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean at Yale School of the Environment (YSE). Dr. Burke is an ecosystem ecologist whose research has focused on carbon and nitrogen cycling in dryland ecosystems. She received her B.S. in Biology from Middlebury College and her Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wyoming. She was a professor at Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming, before she joined the faculty of Yale as the Dean of the School of the Environment. Her work with graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and colleagues has addressed how drylands are influenced by land use management, climatic variability, and regional variability. She teaches in the fields of environmental science, ecosystem ecology, and biogeochemistry. Burke has served on numerous committees and boards for national and international environmental science organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board, UNESCO SCOPE, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the Dahlem Conference, and others. A respected educator and intellectual leader in the U.S. and internationally, Dean Burke is particularly interested in fostering interdisciplinary scholarship. She came to YSE in 2016 from the University of Wyoming, where she was the dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, one of the leading institutions in the western U.S. for research, teaching, and outreach on natural resource issues.

Deepti Chatti is a Ph.D. candidate at the Yale School of the Environment and is a certificate candidate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Deepti’s work looks at the environmental and social justice issues involved in using technology for sustainable development in the Global South, and the ethical, epistemic, and pragmatic issues involved in the trans-national production of evidence about poverty and health. In her doctoral work, she ethnographically analyzed clean cooking energy transitions in rural India. Deepti is an interdisciplinary environmental scholar whose work draws on her training in feminist and postcolonial theory, environmental anthropology, and science and technology studies to better understand environmental and social issues in India. At Yale she currently coordinates the Energy Humanities initiative, and serves on the Steering Committee for the Environmental Humanities. Prior to beginning her doctoral work at Yale, Deepti studied environmental science and engineering at Stanford University, and conducted environmental and social research on numerous issues to aid government policy making in India.

Marian Chertow is a professor of industrial environmental management at the Yale School of the Environment and is also appointed at the Yale School of Management and the National University of Singapore. Her research and teaching focus on industrial ecology, business/environment issues, circular economy, waste management, and urban sustainability. Her research has championed the study of industrial symbiosis involving geographically based exchanges of materials, energy, water, and wastes within networks of businesses globally; and she has carried out many studies of industrial ecology in China, India, and other emerging market countries as a way to value environmental benefits alongside economic ones. Prior to Yale, Professor Chertow spent ten years in environmental business and state and local government including service as President of a bonding authority that built $1 billion worth of waste infrastructure. She is a frequent international lecturer, serves on the External Advisory Board of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand, the Board of Directors of Terracycle US Inc, and the Board of the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability (ARCS). Dr. Chertow is currently working on an edited volume with Oxford University Press concerning how science, technology, and innovation can help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Deborah R. Coen is Professor of History and Chair of the Program in History of Science and Medicine at Yale, as well as a member of the steering committee of Yale's Environmental Humanities Initiative. She earned an A.B. in Physics from Harvard, an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge, and a Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard, where she was also a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows. Her research interests include the history of the physical and environmental sciences and the intellectual and cultural history of modern central Europe. She is the author of Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty: Science, Liberalism, and Private Life (2007) and The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science from Lisbon to Richter (2013). Her most recent book is Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale (2018), the first study of the science of climate dynamics before the computer age.

Cary Coglianese is Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and director of the Penn Program on Regulation. He specializes in the study of regulation and regulatory processes, with an emphasis on the empirical evaluation of alternative regulatory strategies and the role of public participation, technology, and business-government relations in policy making. His most recent books include Achieving Regulatory Excellence, Does Regulation Kill Jobs?, and Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation.

Todd Cort is a Lecturer at the Yale School of Management and Faculty Co-Director for the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY). He also serves as Co-Director of the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance and directs the sustainability track of the Yale Executive MBA program. He serves on multiple advisory boards including the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, BlueSky Asset Management, and JUST Capital. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and has over 15 years experience in global corporate settings advising on sustainability matters including metrics, risk management, and auditing practices.

Courtney Durham is a Master’s of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of the Environment. Her studies have focused on international environmental governance and law, disaster reduction and recovery, development assistance, and climate action in developing countries. She has worked on World Resources Institute’s Global Climate Program supporting the UNFCCC negotiations team and the NDC Partnership, an initiative that brings together developing and developed countries and international institutions to advance the implementation of Paris Agreement contributions. Courtney has also worked for the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in Fiji, where she supported 15 island nations in the Pacific region with implementing ambitious climate plans under the Paris Agreement.

Daniel C. Esty is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with primary appointments in Yale’s Environment and Law Schools and a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Management. He serves as director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (www. and is on the Advisory Board of the Yale Center for Business and Environment (, which he founded in 2006. Professor Esty is the author or editor of ten books and dozens of articles on environmental protection, energy, and sustainability—and their connections to policy, corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, performance measurement, and economic success. His highly regarded prior study, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, has recently been named the top-selling “green business” book of the past decade. Prior to taking up his Yale professorship in 1994, he served in a variety of senior positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (where he helped negotiate the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change) and was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC. From 2011 to 2014, he served as commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Alexander J. Felson is a senior certified ecologist and a registered landscape architect. He is the Deputy Executive Director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) and serves as the Director of Resilience Design with the State of Connecticut. He is an Associate Research Scientist in the University of Connecticut's Department of Marine Sciences. He founded and directs the Urban Ecology and Design Lab and Ecopolitan Design. Alex taught at Yale University as an Associate Professor and joint degree program director between the School of Architecture and the School of the Environment. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, an MLA from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and an M.S. in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Eli Fenichel is an associate professor of bioeconomics and ecosystem management at Yale University, He received a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2007, and was on the faculty of Arizona State University for four years prior to joining Yale in 2012. Prof. Fenichel conducts quantitative research that connects economics, natural science, and sustainable development. His research approaches natural resources as capital assets, and Dr. Fenichel views natural resource management problems as investment decisions. He believes that framing resource management problems as investment decisions creates opportunities for creative twenty-first century natural resource management and policy. He has published over 60 papers on natural resource management and economics in outlets including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Proceedings of the Royal Society B. A central part of Prof. Fenichel’s research focuses on measuring the value of natural capital under prevailing institutions. At Yale, Dr. Fenichel teaches graduate level courses in applied math, mathematical modeling, and natural resource economics.

Erin Fitzgerald serves as CEO of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), which represents farmer- and rancher-led organizations, and food and agricultural partners, with a common vision to further our global sustainable food systems. Erin's focus is creating a proactive collaboration between the best minds in food, agriculture, science, and technology to co-create solutions that will result in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Prior to USFRA, Erin Fitzgerald served as Senior Vice President, Global Sustainability for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, where she conducted an environmental impact assessment that led to an industry-wide voluntary carbon reduction goal of 25 percent by 2020. Erin has been recognized in Chicago’s 40 under 40 and is an avid voice for sustainability and social responsibility as a White House Champion of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture and an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow.

Brad Gentry is the Senior Associate Dean for Professional Practice at the Yale School of the Environment, a Professor in the Practice at the Yale School of Management and a Director of the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Trained as a biologist and a lawyer, his work focuses on strengthening the links between private investment and improved environmental performance. He has worked on land, water, energy, industrial, and other projects in over 40 countries for private (GE, Suez Environnement, Working Lands Investment Partners), public (UNDP, World Bank, Secretariat for the Climate Change Convention, UNEP) and not-for-profit (Land Trust Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation) organizations. He holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Greg Gershuny leads the Energy and Environment Program at The Aspen Institute, where they gather and challenge thought leaders to test and shape energy, climate, and environmental policies, governance systems, and institutions that support the wellbeing of both nature and society. Prior to joining The Aspen Institute, Greg served as the Associate Director for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, as well as Director of Energy and Environment at the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, where he oversaw the Presidential appointment process for the energy and environment mission within the federal government. He also served as a policy aide to the Associate Director for Science and Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, on basic science R&D issues and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and as a Research Associate for the White House National Economic Council for technology and innovation policy. Greg is a graduate of George Mason University and originally hails from New Jersey.

Kenneth Gillingham is an Associate Professor at Yale University, with a primary appointment in the School of the Environment and secondary appointments in the Department of Economics and School of Management. In 2015-2016 he served as the Senior Economist for Energy and the Environment at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He is an energy and environmental economist who has published widely on consumer decisions and policy in transportation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. He was a Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand and has also worked at Resources for the Future, the California Air Resources Board, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. in Management Science & Engineering and Economics, as well as M.S. degrees in Statistics and Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and an A.B. in Economics and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.

Matthew Gordon is a Ph.D. student at the Yale School of the Environment, where he studies the environmental and human impacts of urban infrastructure systems and waste policy. His work includes research on ways to increase industrial waste recycling in India, the global impacts of China’s waste import ban, and the political and distributional dimensions of urban infrastructure. Previously he worked for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he analyzed the impacts some of the city's largest infrastructure investments. He has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Hamilton College in New York.

Thomas Graedel is Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Industrial Ecology in the School of the Environment, Yale University. His research is on developing and enhancing industrial ecology and the resource aspects of the Anthropocene. His textbook Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Engineering was the first book in the field. Graedel’s books (17) and papers (~390) have resulted in a citation record in the upper ¼ of 1 percent of all active scientists. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2002 and was a founding member of the UNEP International Resource Panel.

John Grim is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at the Yale School of the Environment, Yale Divinity School, and Religious Studies Department. He co-directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. He has published The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians (Oklahoma, 1983) and Shamans and Preachers, Color Symbolism and Commercial Evangelism in American Indian Quarterly (Nebraska, 1992). With Mary Evelyn Tucker, he edited the series “World Religions and Ecology,” (Harvard, 1997-2000). In that series he edited Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community (Harvard, 2001). With Mary Evelyn Tucker he edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994, 5th printing 2000), Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (Daedalus, 2001), The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth (Orbis Books, 2009), and Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe (Orbis Books, 2016). They are Executive Producers of the Emmy-award winning film Journey of the Universe broadcast on PBS ( They published Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014), and with Willis Jenkins, they edited Handbook of Religion and Ecology (Routledge, 2017). They published Thomas Berry: A Biography (Columbia, 2019). John is President of the American Teilhard Association (1987 to the present).

Barry E. Hill is a Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vermont Law School, where he has taught an environmental justice course for more than 20 years. Professor Hill is the author of the four editions of his textbook/handbook entitled Environmental Justice: Legal Theory and Practice. He has authored more than 25 articles in professional and scholarly journals. He was the Director of the Office of Environmental Justice at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1998-2007. Professor Hill has lectured in the Middle East, Africa, South and Central America, and the Caribbean islands on a variety of environmental law and policy topics. He is the recipient of distinguished achievement awards in environmental law and policy, and a distinguished alumni award for his teaching, research, and leadership related to environmental justice and sustainable development in the U.S. and abroad. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Brooklyn College; a M,A. in political science from Howard University; and a J.D. from the Cornell University Law School.

Meha Jain is an Assistant Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Her research examines the impacts of environmental change on agricultural production, and strategies that farmers adopt to reduce negative impacts. Her work also examines how sustainable intensification can increase food production while limiting environmental impacts. She does this by combining remote sensing with household-level and census datasets to examine farmer decision-making and behavior across large spatial and temporal scales. She has a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Columbia University.

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D. is Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a Senior Research Scientist at the School of the Environment at Yale University. He is an expert on public opinion and engagement with climate change and the environment. He conducts research at the global, national, and local scales, including studies in the United States, China, and India. He is a board member of the KR Foundation and serves as an advisor to the UN Foundation, the Ad Council, Years of Living Dangerously, and the China Center for Climate Change Communication. He is also the host of Climate Connections, a radio program broadcast daily on more than 500 stations nationwide. @ecotone2

Thomas Lovejoy (B.S. Yale 1964, Ph.D. 1971) has worked in the Amazon since 1965. Since 1973 he has worked on the interface of science and public policy with various positions at the World Wildlife Fund, Smithsonian Institution, and others. He currently is University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and leads its new Institute for a Sustainable Earth. He is credited with coining the term "biological diversity" in 1980. His landscape ecology experiment on forest fragmentation in the Brazilian Amazon has run since 1980.

Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University, is a marine ecologist with expertise in the ocean, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being. She served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and as part of President Barack Obama’s Science Team (2009-2013), and as the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, with the State Department (2014-2016). She is one of the “most highly cited” ecologists in the world with eight publications as “Science Citation Classics.” She received her Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, The American Philosophical Society, the Royal Society and other distinguished academies. She has received numerous awards including 21 honorary doctorates, the highest honor given by the National Academy of Sciences (the Public Welfare Medal), and the highest honor from the National Science Board (the Vannevar Bush Award). She co-founded three organizations that train scientists to be better communicators and engage more effectively with the public, policy makers, media and industry: The Leopold Leadership Program, COMPASS, and Climate Central. She is passionate about scientists engaging with citizens to create knowledge and craft durable solutions to enable vibrant communities, strong economies, and a healthy planet.

Monica Medina is a small business owner; she is the Founder and Publisher or Our Daily Planet, an environmental e-mail newsletter, and an independent consultant. Medina is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously Medina served as the Deputy Director of the Environment Program at the Walton Family Foundation, and she was the Senior Director of Ocean Policy at the National Geographic Society. From 2012-2013, Ms. Medina served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Previously, Ms. Medina served as the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where she led efforts on Arctic conservation, and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Ms. Medina has worked for nearly thirty years at the intersection of law and policy in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She attended Georgetown University on an Army ROTC scholarship, and began her legal career on active duty in the Honor’s Program of the Army General Counsel’s office. For her service in the Army, Ms. Medina was awarded an Army Commendation Medal in 1989, and a Meritorious Service Medal in 1990. In 2013, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta awarded Ms. Medina the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal.

G. Tracy Mehan, III is Executive Director, Government Affairs, for the American Water Works Association (AWWA). Mehan served as Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2001-2003 and as Environmental Stewardship Counselor to the G-8 Summit Planning Organization (2004). Mehan was director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes (1993-2001). He was director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources from 1989 to 1992. Mehan is a graduate of Saint Louis University and its School of Law. Mehan served on the Water Science and Technology Board and now the Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean Water Act for the National Research Council of the National Academies. He is currently an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University.

William D. Nordhaus is Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and a member of the faculty at Yale School of the Environment. From 1977 to 1979, he was a member of President Carter’s Council of Economic Advisers. Dr. Nordhaus is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a past president of the American Economic Association. His research has encompassed environmental economics, climate change, health economics, augmented national accounting, the political business cycle, and productivity. He was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on climate change economics.
John Reeder is an Executive in Residence at American University, visiting from the Environmental Protection Agency where he has held several senior leadership positions, including Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Congressional Affairs. He has also served as a U.S. Senate staffer during consideration of environmental reforms. He received EPA’s Gold Medal, the agency’s highest honor, for his leadership in reforming federal drinking water safety laws.

David Rejeski has worked at the interface of public policy and emerging technologies (such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, AI, blockchains, and 3D printing) for a wide range of organizations, including the Environmental Law Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, White House Council on Environmental Quality, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Environmental Protection Agency. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and has served on advisory boards at the: NSF, FDA, EPA, DARPA, AAAS, and the UK Open Plant Project. He has degrees in public administration and environmental design from Harvard and Yale.

Paul Rink is a joint degree student pursuing a Juris Doctorate at Yale Law School and a Master’s of Environmental Management degree at Yale School of the Environment. A native of northern Michigan, he lived and worked in Singapore and Sri Lanka before beginning his graduate studies at Yale. Academically and professionally, he has focused on using legal strategies to promote climate justice. His work has ranged from helping to organize a workshop on international trade and the environment to writing legal briefs defending indigenous people's human rights in the face of exploitative industry action. His academic essay entitled Big Complaint, Little Plaintiffs: The Potential of Youth versus Government Climate Change Litigation received a silver medal in the International Sustainable Development Law Center's 2018 climate change law and governance essay competition. Paul will graduate from Yale in May 2019.

Carter Roberts is President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the United States. WWF, the world’s largest network of international conservation organizations, works across 100 countries and enjoys the support of 5 million members worldwide. In fifteen years serving as CEO, Roberts has built globally recognized programs to engage multinational corporations like Walmart, Mars, and McDonald’s in scaling up certification and science-based targets and results; to expand and finance some of the world's largest park systems in the Pacific, the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and Bhutan; to pioneer innovations in food production and eliminating food waste; and to partner with Google, Facebook, and Apple, in applying big data, AI, and technology to overcome barriers in food sourcing, behavior change and illegal wildlife trade. Roberts earned his MBA from Harvard Business School following a B.A. from Princeton University. Roberts serves on the Boards of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy at Duke University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Finance Corporation’s Advisory Panel on Sustainability and Business.

James Saiers is the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Hydrology at the Yale School of the Environment, where he studies water quality and supply. He runs experiments, collects observations, and develops models to illuminate how human activities affect the chemical composition of drinking water resources and alter freshwater flows within aquifers, wetlands, and river basins. His recent research projects address water quality impacts of fossil fuel development, carbon and nutrient transport through watersheds, pollution migration in groundwater, and climate change effects on water resources in Africa. This research is executed collaboratively with students, postdoctoral associates, and faculty from Yale and other Universities. Professor Saiers' teaching addresses various applied and theoretical aspects of surface water and groundwater hydrology.

Os Schmitz is the Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology, in the Yale University School of the Environment. His research aims to make sense of nature’s complexity that comes from interdependencies among the variety of carnivore, herbivore, decomposer, and plant species within ecosystems. The insights are used to teach about stewardship to enhance the sustainability of ecosystem functions and services.

Larry Selzer is president and CEO of The Conservation Fund, one of the nation’s top-ranked environmental nonprofits, based in Arlington, VA. The only environmental group in the country chartered for both conservation and economic development, the Fund has protected more than 7.8 million acres since 1985. Prior to being named president and CEO in 2001, Selzer led the Fund’s efforts to integrate economic and environmental goals, including its efforts in mitigation, working forest conservation, and small business investing. Selzer began his career at the Manomet Center for Conservation Science, conducting research on marine mammal and seabird populations on the eastern outer continental shelf. He serves as the chairman of the American Bird Conservancy and is on the board of Weyerhaeuser and Manomet. He served as chairman of the Outdoor Foundation and twice served as chair of the Sustainable Forest Initiative, Inc.

Karen Seto is one of the world’s leading experts on contemporary urbanization. An urban and land change scientist, her research has generated new insights on the links between urbanization and climate change, food systems, biodiversity, and energy use. She co-led the chapter on urban mitigation for the 2014 United Nations IPCC climate change report and will co-lead the same chapter for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. She is co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Global Environmental Change. From 2000 to 2008, she was on the faculty at Stanford University, where she held joint appointments in the Woods Institute for the Environment and the School of Earth Sciences. She is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Balwinder Singh is a systems agronomist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). He has made significant contributions in developing technologies and strategies for addressing the productivity and sustainability challenges in cereal systems in India focusing on natural resource conservation. He uses mixed methods, including dynamic simulation and process-based models, applied at the field to landscape scales. He also uses system analysis tools to explore how farmers can sustainably increase agricultural productivity while also addressing different agriculture issues like labor shortages, water scarcity, soil fertility loss, land degradation, rising temperatures, and other impacts from climate change.

Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. Together they organized 10 conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard and were series editors of the 10 resulting volumes. She co-edited Confucianism and Ecology, Buddhism and Ecology, and Hinduism and Ecology. She has authored with John Grim, Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) and Thomas Berry: A Biography (Columbia, 2019). With Brian Thomas Swimme she wrote Journey of the Universe (Yale 2011) and was the executive producer with Grim of the Emmy award winning Journey film that aired on PBS. In 2015 she was awarded the Inspiring Yale teaching award.

Vasilis Vasiliou is Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale Institute for Global Health. His research interests include mechanisms of cellular responses to environmental stress, gene-environment interactions, alcohol toxicity, and the evolution of gene families. Vasiliou established an internationally-recognized research program that has been continuously funded by NEI/NIH and NIAAA/NIH since 1997. Vasiliou has published over 180 papers, is the editor of Human Genomics, and serves on the editorial boards of several toxicology and visual sciences journals.

Jonathan B. Wiener is Perkins Professor of Law and professor of public policy and environmental policy at Duke University, where he co-directs the Center on Risk. He is a University Fellow of Resources for the Future. He was president of the Society for Risk Analysis in 2008, and co-chair of the World Congress on Risk held in Sydney, Australia in 2012. Previously he served at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Environment Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Julie Zimmerman is an internationally recognized engineer whose work is focused on advancing innovations in sustainable technologies. Dr. Zimmerman holds joint appointments as a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and School of the Environment at Yale University. She also serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Environment School. Her pioneering work established the fundamental framework for her field with her seminal publications on the “Twelve Principles of Green Engineering” in 2003. She demonstrates this framework in her research including breakthroughs on the integrated biorefinery, designing safer chemicals and materials, creating novel materials for water purification, and analyzing the water-energy nexus. Prior, Dr. Zimmerman was an Engineer and program manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency leading the national sustainable design competition, P3 (People, Prosperity, and Planet) Award, which has engaged design teams from hundreds of universities across the U.S. Professor Zimmerman is the co-author of the textbook Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, Design that is used in the engineering programs at leading universities. Dr. Zimmerman earned her B.S. from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan jointly from the School of Engineering and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. In addition, Dr. Zimmerman is an Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Science and Technology and is a Member of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences.