2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit Speakers

Next Level Conversations 

Monday, Febrauary 11th       11AM-12:40PM  

During this 1-hour and 40-minute session, attendees will be given the chance to hear an intimate presentation from 3 separate table top presenters during (3) 40-minute sessions.  Presenters will speak for approximately 10 minutes without powerpoints and the remaining time will be spent engaging with and creating new connections with those seated at their table. Attendees will be given breaks between each conversation to switch to a new table topic, and presenters will speak to 3 separate groups of participants during this time.

Jeremy Knoll

Project Manager, BNIM Architects

Next Level Conversation: A Campus Approach to Sustainable Building

 

 

Jeff Conant

Senior International Forests Program Manager, Friends of the Earth

Next Level Conversation: Defunding Deforestation – The Hidden Driver of Climate Change

Jeff Conant directs Friends of the Earth’s international forests program. The program’s primary campaign, “Landgrabs, Forests and Finance” pressures institutional investors and consumer brands to address the material risks associated with rainforest destruction.

Recent successes include supporting CalPERS to expand its ESG policies to recognize deforestation, biodiversity, and land rights as material investment risks, and pressuring several multinational consumer brands to cancel contracts with abusive palm oil suppliers in Guatemala.

Jeff has worked on issues of international development justice for two decades, including advocacy for climate justice at the U.N. and other global arenas. With International Accountability Project he co-authored A Community Guide to the Environmental and Social Safeguards of the Asian Development Bank; and with Hesperian Health Guides he co-authored A Community Guide to Environmental Health, a grassroots manual published in over a dozen languages. Jeff is also the author of A Poetics of Resistance, about Mexico’s Zapatista movement, and translator of Wind in the Blood: Mayan Healing and Chinese Medicine.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University and a Master’s from New College of California.

 

 

Susanne Fratzscher

Director of Business Development, CustomerFirst Renewables

Next Level Conversation: Demand-Side Aggregation: Teaming Up to Purchase Renewable Energy at Scale

 

 

Nicole Pinko

Corporate Analyst and Engagement Specialist, Climate & Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Next Level Conversation: Evaluating Fossil Fuel Companies for Shareholder Engagement and Divestment Thresholds

Nicole Pinko is a corporate analyst and engagement specialist with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She works on accountability campaigns for fossil fuel companies, including overseeing corporate campaign research, facilitating rapid responses to developments in and around the fossil fuel industry, cultivating investor and shareholder allies, engaging directly with UCS campaign targets, and writing reports. Prior to joining UCS, Nicole was a senior associate at Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., where she advised socially responsible investors on environmental, social, and governance issues, and developed metrics to identify climate change risks.

 

 

Theo Caruthers

Program Manager for Global Sustainability Initiative, University of Maryland Center for Global Sustainability

Next Level Conversation: Expanding Representation and Inclusion in U.S. Climate Policy & Education

 

 

Claire Veuthey

Director of ESG & Impact, OpenInvest

Next Level Conversation: How Investing + Technology Will Fund Your Institution’s Vision of a Sustainable Future

Claire Veuthey is Director of ESG + Impact at OpenInvest, the first digital advisor for socially responsible investing. She has helped investors better integrate ESG factors into their decisions for the last decade, serving in research, investment, product and business development roles around the globe. Prior, she led Wells Fargo’s Social Impact Investing team’s ESG research and was an advisor to the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board. Claire holds an M.A. From King’s College London and a License from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

 

 

Maria Lettini

Director, FAIRR Initiative

Next Level Conversation: Mitigating Climate Risks in the Food System: How Universities Can Meaningfully Engage Through Their Operations and Their Investment Portfolio

Maria joined the FAIRR Initiative as Director in September 2016 and has oversight of the creation and execution of FAIRR’s strategy and work plans for the global intuitional investor network. Maria works closely with asset owners, investment managers and other key capital markets stakeholders to help them understand the risks and opportunities within the global food system, with particular focus on the intensive livestock production and its related supply chains.    Prior to this, she worked for the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) for six years where she led the PRI’s signatory relations and outreach strategy to raise awareness of material sustainability/ESG issues amongst the institutional investor community and ensure their incorporation into investment policies and practices. Maria has over twenty years’ experience in global investment banking, business and finance, working at both J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank.

She currently serves on the Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB) Standards Advisory Group and is also a member of the Intentional Endowment Network (IEN) Steering Committee.

She has lived and worked San Francisco, New York and Madrid, and is currently London-based. Maria holds a MA (Distinction) in Environment, Politics and Globalization from King’s College London and a BA in International Business, Latin American Studies and Spanish from SDSU.

 

 

Emily Simso

ESG Analyst, Etho Capital

Next Level Conversation: Mitigating Climate Risks in the Food System: How Universities Can Meaningfully Engage Through Their Operations and Their Investment Portfolio

Emily Simso is an ESG Analyst with Etho Capital, where she conducts quantitative and qualitative company analysis to determine best practices. Etho Capital is committed to addressing climate change and supply chain sustainability through in-depth assessments, with the ultimate goal of superior returns alongside ethical investment decisions.

Emily is also Loyola Marymount University’s (LMU) Responsible Investing Associate, where she focuses primarily on addressing ESG concerns through the endowment and stakeholder engagement. As a student at LMU, Emily led the University’s fossil fuel divestment campaign and ignited conversations about responsible investing with the administration.

 

Fred James

Technical Support Engineer, Siemens

Next Level Conversation: New Digital Approaches to Building Performance and GHG Reduction

 

 

Ben Suplick

Director of Engineering & Energy Planning, University of Pennsylvania

Next Level Conversation: Penn’s Civic Sustainability Fellows Program: Addressing Social Equity from with the Ivy Tower: Laura Rigel, Solar Manager, Philadelphia Energy Authority

 

 

Chris Walker

Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Next Level Conversation: Retirement Plans: Exploring Opportunities for ESG Integration, Climate Mitigation, and Value Alignment

Since, October 2014, Chris serves as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as the Director, North America based in New York City. As part of his role, he manages the organization’s relationship with approximately 47 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in North America and as part of WBCSD’s Redefining Value leads the Investor Decision making work which assists WBCSD members engagement on ESG issues with the Financial sector such as Aligning Retirement Assets of corporates with their values.

He has worked in a variety of roles over the last 18 years on climate and sustainability. Most recently he was a member of Ernst & Young LLP’s Americas Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice. He previously was the Executive Officer of the Carbon Trust, LLC, the US affiliate of the UK’s Carbon Trust.  He has served on the National Academy of Science’s, congressionally mandated study “America’s Climate Choices” (July 2010) and as Executive Director for North America for The Climate Group and as Head of Swiss Re’s Sustainability Business Development. At Swiss Re, he ran a unit responsible for developing commercial applications to Swiss Re Sustainability as well as government affairs liaison on climate change/GHG emissions issues.

Prior to Swiss Re, he litigated environmental law. He is a graduate with a BA and JD from St. John’s University and attended the Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown.

 

 

Jeff Mindlin

VP Investments, Arizona State University Enterprise Partners

Next Level Conversation: Student-Managed Funds as an Experiential Education Opportunity

Jeff Mindlin serves as Vice President of Investments at ASU Enterprise Partners. In this capacity, Jeff is responsible for managing the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University’s (ASUF) highly diversified investment assets to maximize long-term, risk adjusted returns. He provides critical support of the Investment Committee and oversight of the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) while also helping drive synergies within the other Enterprise Partner affiliates.

Jeff also oversees the university’s Education Technology Accelerator program, acts as a trustee to the retirement plan, and advises on the investment management of ASU’s operating funds. In addition, Jeff is a member of the TIAA-Nuveen Investment Council and serves on the Intentional Endowment Network’s Steering Committee. In the Fall, Jeff will lead a sustainable investment course through the ASU School of Sustainability.

Jeff previously served as Tower Square Investment Management’s Executive Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer where he was responsible for the portfolio management team and its efforts, including portfolio selection, trading, proprietary money management and product development. He co-chaired the investment committee, which oversaw more than $5billion in client assets. He served as Chief Investment Officer at First Allied Asset Management. Prior to joining First Allied, Mr. Mindlin was the Director of Research and Co-Portfolio Manager of Greenbook Investment Management, Inc., where he was instrumental in the design of sophisticated, proprietary investment strategies. Before that, he worked as the Assistant Portfolio Manager and Senior Financial Engineer for Pinnacle Investment Advisors, LLC, which operated a hedge fund and a series of managed accounts for institutional and high-net-worth clients, and sub-advised a publicly traded mutual fund. Previously, Mr. Mindlin was the Manager of Financial Engineering at Camelback Research, leading the development of several successful institutional-grade quantitative products, including the popular MSN Money StockScouter system.

Mr. Mindlin earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation. He obtained bachelor’s degrees in economics and in finance from the College of Business Honor’s Program at Arizona State University, where he also received the prestigious Moeur Award.

 

 

Meghan Chapple

Director of the Office of Sustainability, George Washington University

Next Level Conversation: Students as Change Agents for Climate Resilience

 

 

Bob Hinkle, President & CEO

Metrus Energy

Next Level Conversation: Sustainability, Energy Savings and Financing Solutions: How Efficiency Services Agreements Deliver for Higher Education

 

 

David Dinerman

Former Trustee, Hampshire College

Next Level Conversation: The Interplay of Impact and ESG Investing

David Dinerman is a former trustee at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he was Vice Chair, and headed the Finance and Investment Committees. David is an attorney who has worked in financial services, software, manufacturing, and real estate, principally as the CFO of companies in which he has worked. Most of his work has been in lower middle market companies. As part of his work on the Hampshire board, David has been active in encouraging foundations and endowments to align their mission and principles with how they invest their endowments, and has spoken at over fifteen conferences on the subject. He holds a BA from Hampshire College, a JD from the University of Oregon Law School, and a LLM from Boston University. David lives in northern California with his wife and two sons.

 

 

Beth Martin

Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Law, Washington University

Next Level Conversation: Universities as Catalysts for Regional-Scale Climate Action: Lessons from St. Louis

 

 

Popcorn Presentations

Tuesday, January 12th     8:10-8:50AM

Patrick Lee

VP, Institutional Services, Natixis Investment Managers

Patrick Lee is a Managing Regional Director in the Institutional Development Unit at Natixis Investment Managers. In this role, he interacts with public and corporate pension plan sponsors, foundations and endowments, and consulting firms serving similar clientele in the Southwest US territory. Since joining the firm in 2011, he has lived in Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas where he worked with a diverse range of clients and prospects in the wirehouse and independent channels. Prior to joining Natixis, Mr. Lee was responsible for business and partnership development at Cayan, LLC, a Bostonbased electronic payment processing firm. Mr. Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in public policy from Hobart College. He is FINRA Series 6, 63, and 7 licensed.

 

Clara Vondrich

Global Dirctor, Divest-Invest Philanthropy

Clara Vondrich is the Director of Divest Invest, a campaign calling on investors to accelerate the clean energy transition by moving their money from the past to the future. The call to action is for investors to divest their portfolios from fossil fuels and invest at least five percent of their portfolios into climate solutions, such as renewable energy, cleantech, sustainable food and water systems, energy access and more. Today institutional investors managing assets of close to $8 trillion have made some form of divestment commitment. The movement spans universities, sovereign wealth funds, cities, pension funds, insurance companies, health organizations, foundations, faith groups and individuals.

Clara previously served as Account Director for Climate & Energy at Fenton Communications, where she led client efforts on anti-fracking, defending climate science, and the clean energy transition. She sits on the Board of Directors of 2 Degrees Investing Initiative, a multi-stakeholder think tank working to align the financial sector with 2°C climate goals. An attorney by training, Clara served as Counsel to the President’s Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, focusing on ecological restoration and environmental justice. Clara clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit after graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 2006.

 

 

David Sher

Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Greenbacker Capital

David Co-Founded Greenbacker Capital in 2011 and currently leads all marketing, sales and business development efforts of the firm. Prior to this, he was a senior adviser at Prospect Capital Corporation, a mezzanine debt and private equity firm that manages a publicly traded, closed-end, dividend-focused business development company.

He has been a serial entrepreneur in the financial services and brokerage industry, having co-founded ESP Technologies, a leading provider of financial software and services to institutional asset managers and hedge funds, ElephantX dot com, an online brokerage company, and Lafayette Capital Management, a statistical arbitrage hedge fund. Before that, he spent six years at Bear Sterns where he developed trading ideas and strategies for institutional and brokerage correspondent clearing customers.

David graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Political Science and received his Masters of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

 

Lindsey White

Senior Manager, Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability, Ceres

Lindsey is a Senior Manager of the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability. In this role, she works to strengthen and expand the participation of U.S. and Canadian asset owners and asset managers in the Ceres Investor Network, the investor group committed to more rigorous sustainable investment policies and practices. Lindsey developed and leads Ceres’ work with foundation and family office network members and co-leads Canadian and Midwest member recruitment and participation. She also directs special member initiatives related to clean and renewable energy investment and serves as Ceres’ impact investing lead.

Lindsey brings to her role more than a decade in the sustainability field. Previously, she led program-related corporate funding partnerships for Ceres, securing resources and developing partnerships across program areas. Concurrently, she established and led multiple strategic partnerships for Ceres with affiliate NGOs.Prior to her work in corporate and NGO partnerships, Lindsey managed a portfolio of private foundations that support Ceres’ advocacy for sustainability leadership.

Lindsey earned a BA in history, cum laude, from Princeton University and earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management. During graduate school, she worked for The Riverside Company. Since 2014, Lindsey has served as Co-Leader of the Boston chapter of WISE (Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy), an international professional network of women working in sustainable and impact investment.

 

 

Jake Barnett

Institutional Consultant, Graystone Consulting

Jake Barnett is an Institutional Consultant and Financial Advisor at Graystone Consulting’s Stephans Van Liew & Oiler Group. Jake plays an active role in the Group’s manager due diligence and investment research efforts, with a particular focus on the rapidly evolving Impact Investing category. Drawing from his past experience working in the public affairs and non-profit sector both domestically and abroad, Jake brings a unique perspective to help clients align their investment programs to reflect their values and drive greater impact.

Throughout his career, Jake has explored the connection between business and positive impact through numerous initiatives in the St. Louis and broader Midwest region, working with municipalities and corporations to incorporate environmental sustainability best-practices into their operations. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Jake was a Fellow with the FOCUS St. Louis Coro Program in Public Affairs within their experiential leadership training program. He also worked in fundraising and as a grant writer for ACCION Chicago.

Over the past several years, Jake has played an instrumental role in the launch of the Catholic Impact Investing Initiative and currently serves on the Steering Committee for the organization. He has also served as a moderator for the St. Louis Impact Investing Discussion Series hosted in conjunction with Washington University. Jake is a regularly requested speaker for groups interested in learning more about values aligned investing. He is active in supporting environmental non-profits in both regions, including as a past Board Member and Treasurer for St. Louis Earth Day, and is broadly involved in community conversations about impact investment. Jake is a member of ICCR’s (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) Climate Leadership Group.

Jake graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ohio Wesleyan University with a triple major in Economics, International Relations, and Political Science. He also holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation awarded by the Investments and Wealth Institute in conjunction with the Yale School of Management.

Julia Enyart

Impact Research Analyst, Public Investments, Glenmede

Julia Enyart is a research analyst specializing in impact-related investments for Glenmede. She is responsible for evaluating and providing analysis on impact-oriented investment opportunities in global public markets.

Prior to joining Glenmede, Ms. Enyart served as an investment associate for the Palladium Group, an impact investing and advisory firm. In this role, she performed due diligence on African agriculture and energy investments, and advised the International Finance Corporation on scalable business solutions for low-income countries. Previously, Ms. Enyart was responsible for business development at Chemonics International, an international development consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and spent two years as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. An emerging markets specialist, she brings experience conducting in-market assessments in over 15 developing countries.

While at Wharton, Ms. Enyart served as the co-president of Wharton Impact Investing Partners, an 100% student-led venture fund, and advised a family foundation fund-of-funds via Wharton Social Impact Initiative. Ms. Enyart received her Master’s of Business Administration from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s in international studies with a focus on Africa regional studies from the Lauder Institute. She is a fluent French speaker.

 

 

Alice DonnaSelva

Principal, Intentional Endowments Network

Alice DonnaSelva is a Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network, joining the team in February 2018 after serving on the IEN Steering Committee and Executive Committee for 3 years. As a member of the Executive Committee she provided an investment consultant’s perspective, helped produce the Hampshire College Case Study and spoke at several IEN Forums, events and webinars. Prior to joining IEN, Alice was an investment consultant at Prime Buchholz, an investment consulting firm focused primarily on endowments and foundations that was one of the founding members of IEN. She has 17 years of investment industry experience.

While at Prime Buchholz, Alice served as Chair of the firm’s Mission Investing Committee and served on each of the four asset class committees at various times during her career there. During her time as Chair, Alice worked with the 13 person Mission Investing Committee to expand the approved list of mission aligned investment options in every asset class and to produce a number of thought pieces on the history and process of mission-aligned investing. She also initiated key relationships with third party providers of ESG data and with ESG thought leaders such as PRI and IEN. She also encouraged and assisted in the development of sustainable investment products by a variety of asset managers. In her consultant role, she provided investment policy statement guidance and asset allocation and implementation advice to endowments, foundations, and other types of clients. Prior to becoming a consultant at Prime Buchholz, Alice served as a consulting analyst and investment analyst for seven years.

Alice began her investment career as a research and client service associate at Whitegate Investment Counselors, a fee-only registered investment advisor where she earned her Series 65 license. Before beginning her investment career, Alice followed her passion for learning and sharing knowledge as a teacher of English and Math to middle and high school students. Alice earned her B.A.A.S. in English Education from the University of Delaware and is a member of CFA Institute/Boston Security Analysts Society.

 

Michele Madia

Director of Programs and Communications, Second Nature

Michele is the Director of Programs and Communications at Second Nature, where she focuses on climate action in higher education by working with colleges and universities, as well as with partner organizations and other stakeholders. Prior to coming on board at Second Nature, she was Director, Environmental Leadership at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), where she was responsible for the association’s portfolio of sustainability programs, products, and services.

In her role as liaison to the association’s Sustainability Advisory Panel, she elevated the issue of sustainability for NACUBO members by incorporating a variety of sustainability topics in the monthly Business Officer magazine; including a sustainability track in every annual meeting; presenting on the topic to the Board of Directors; educating meeting planning staff about adopting green meeting policies; and challenging NACUBO to become an association leader in sustainability. Under her guidance, NACUBO has published several sustainability books, including the joint Second Nature/NACUBO “Financing Sustainability on Campus.” Working collaboratively with other higher education associations, she established, designed, and developed program content for the annual Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference. Under her direction, NACUBO was awarded a federal cooperative assistance agreement through the EPA to create and maintain the Campus Environmental Resource Center, an online resource that provides individuals and educational institutions the knowledge and tools needed to maintain environmental regulatory compliance, improve facilities management, and promote sustainability.

In her twelve year career at NACUBO, she worked on a wide variety of issues impacting colleges and universities. For example, in her prior role as senior policy analyst, she directed a project on the cost of college and developed quarterly newsletter focusing on the strategic human resource issues for colleges and universities.

Michele graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in English Literature and Art History. She studied abroad at the John E. Dolobois European Center in Luxembourg and she received her M.A., Education Policy (Education Policy, Planning, and Administration) from the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

Sheldon Whitehouse

US Senator, Rhode Island

 

Endowments Investing for a Sustainable Economy Track

Tuesday, February 12th    10:30am-12:10pm  and   1:15-2:10PM 

This track is designed to be a continuous conversation with experts and peers about how your college or university endowment can achieve its risk and return objectives while aligning with your institutional mission. Our work together will be guided by the Roadmap for Intentionally Designed Endowments – a step by step process which grew out of the experiences of our network of colleges and universities. There will be a series of panel presentations, each of which will be followed by roundtable discussions where participants can have their burning questions addressed and work with peers and experts to create or advance action plans for their own institutions.

This track will run during both the morning and afternoon concurrent session times and has been designed for continuous conversation which will drive the afternoon Action Planning segment.  Attendees of this Track should be present for both morning and afternoon conversations.

Panel: Setting the Stage – Learning, Building Consensus and Setting Policy

John Church

Senior Portfolio Manager for Endowments & Foundations, Glenmede

John Church, CFA is a Senior Portfolio Manager for Endowments and Foundations in Glenmede’s Philadelphia office. Along with other members of the team, he provides investment advice and portfolio management for foundations, endowments and other non-profit organizations, working with clients across the country.

Mr. Church joined Glenmede in 2001. Before joining the Endowments and Foundations team, he worked for six years in the Manager Research Group, performing due diligence on hedge fund and other externally managed strategies. He also sits on the firm’s Manager Research and Private Investment Committees.

A cum laude graduate of Skidmore College with a B.S. in business, Mr. Church is a CFA® charter holder and an active member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia, serving on numerous planning committees for conferences. He is a Trustee for St. Mark’s Church in Philadelphia, and Chair of the Investment Committee for the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, the oldest men’s singing group of its kind in the country. He is also a member of the Finance Council for St. Katharine of Siena Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He and his family reside in Devon, Pennsylvania.

 

Jeff Mindlin

Director of Investments, ASU Enterprise Partners

Jeff Mindlin serves as Vice President of Investments at ASU Enterprise Partners. In this capacity, Jeff is responsible for managing the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University’s (ASUF) highly diversified investment assets to maximize long-term, risk adjusted returns. He provides critical support of the Investment Committee and oversight of the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) while also helping drive synergies within the other Enterprise Partner affiliates.

Jeff also oversees the university’s Education Technology Accelerator program, acts as a trustee to the retirement plan, and advises on the investment management of ASU’s operating funds. In addition, Jeff is a member of the TIAA-Nuveen Investment Council and serves on the Intentional Endowment Network’s Steering Committee. In the Fall, Jeff will lead a sustainable investment course through the ASU School of Sustainability.

Jeff previously served as Tower Square Investment Management’s Executive Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer where he was responsible for the portfolio management team and its efforts, including portfolio selection, trading, proprietary money management and product development. He co-chaired the investment committee, which oversaw more than $5billion in client assets. He served as Chief Investment Officer at First Allied Asset Management. Prior to joining First Allied, Mr. Mindlin was the Director of Research and Co-Portfolio Manager of Greenbook Investment Management, Inc., where he was instrumental in the design of sophisticated, proprietary investment strategies. Before that, he worked as the Assistant Portfolio Manager and Senior Financial Engineer for Pinnacle Investment Advisors, LLC, which operated a hedge fund and a series of managed accounts for institutional and high-net-worth clients, and sub-advised a publicly traded mutual fund. Previously, Mr. Mindlin was the Manager of Financial Engineering at Camelback Research, leading the development of several successful institutional-grade quantitative products, including the popular MSN Money StockScouter system.

Mr. Mindlin earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation. He obtained bachelor’s degrees in economics and in finance from the College of Business Honor’s Program at Arizona State University, where he also received the prestigious Moeur Award.

 

Ophir Bruck

Senior US Network Manager, Principles for Responsible Investment

Ophir Bruck is a US Network Manager at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The PRI is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment, with a global network of more than 2,200 institutional investors and service providers across 60 countries representing over $82 trillion in assets. The PRI works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, and to support its signatories with the incorporation of these factors into investment and ownership decisions to better manage risk, enhance returns and promote a more sustainable global financial system. Ophir leads the PRI’s network and initiatives in the western United States. Prior to joining the PRI, Ophir was an analyst at the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer, where he co-led the development and implementation of a responsible investment framework for the university system’s endowment, pension and working capital assets.

 

Michael Losquadro

Senior Advisor, Campus Advancement, California State University

As the senior advisor, campus advancement, Michael provides strategic counsel to the 23 campus presidents and vice presidents of advancement to assist them in building successful advancement programs. He conducts campus capacity studies, organizational assessments and program evaluations. He also assists the campuses in preparing for and launching fund raising campaigns, establishing philanthropic foundations, and training and orienting new foundation board members.

Michael previously served as the associate vice president, development & campaign operations for California State University, Long Beach and the chief operating officer for the CSULB 49er Foundation, as well as the executive director of development at the University of California, Irvine.

Michael is a proud Titan, having earned his bachelor of arts in operations management at California State University, Fullerton.

Michael also serves as a reserve lieutenant in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue Reserve Unit.

 

 

 

Panel: Implementation – Aligning the Endowment Portfolio with Mission

Libby George

Director of Investments, NC State University

Libby George is currently the Director of Investments at North Carolina State University and has over 30 years of experience in investment management, corporate, educational, and financial accounting. Prior to becoming Director of Investments, Ms. George was the Manager of Financial Reporting where she was responsible for the financial reporting, capital assets, cash management, debt, and taxes of North Carolina State University. Libby currently manages five portfolios at NC State with assets in excess of $1.4 billion in short term, intermediate term,
charitable giving, traditional long-term endowment assets as well as long-term endowment assets invested in a socially responsible manner. Libby is an officer of the NC State Investment Fund, Inc. In addition, Ms. George is currently on the editorial committee of The Investment Institute and a member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds.

Ms. George previously served on the State of North Carolina’s Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees as appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue in July 2009 and was the Chair of the Investment Subcommittee of the Supplemental
Retirement Board. Libby has been involved in the community through her church in various capacities such as Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network and past chair of the Permanent Endowment Committee. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Auburn University and was an All-American NCAA athlete in Swimming for the Auburn Tigers. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 1992.

 

 

Kelly Major Green

Financial Advisor and Institutional Consultant, Graystone Consulting

Kelly Major Green is a Financial Advisor and Institutional Consultant at the Chicago office of Graystone Consulting, the independent Consulting Division of Morgan Stanley. Drawing from over 22 years of executive leadership and client advisory experience in the management consulting, marketing, and non-profit industries, Kelly is a member of one of the largest institutional consulting practices at Morgan Stanley. Kelly and her partners work with a diverse range of clients including, foundations/endowments, operating nonprofits, retirement plans and complex private wealth families who aspire to do well and to do good at the same time.

Throughout her career, Kelly had several broad consulting and leadership roles in a number of industries. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Kelly served as the Chief Operating Officer at United Way for Southeastern Michigan where she was responsible for the organization’s marketing, strategy, finance and investment functions, including the organization’s endowment and pension plans. She started her career in management consulting, providing management strategy and strategy implementation advice to Fortune 1000 companies as a senior consultant at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) and CSC Index. She subsequently provided marketing strategy and consulting advice to clients as equity Partner and Marketing Director for Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing, a boutique, women-owned, strategic marketing services firm in Detroit.

Kelly has been recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as a “Woman to Watch” in 2010 and “40 under 40” in 2005. Kelly’s community involvement is extensive. She serves on a number of non-profit and community boards, including serving a Trustee and Executive Committee member of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and an Executive Committee member and Treasurer of the Greater Wayne County Chapter, The Links Inc. Kelly holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation, awarded by the Investments and Wealth Institute formerly Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) in conjunction with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from The J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Erik Gross

Treasurer, University of New Hampshire Foundation

In December 2014, Erik joined the UNH Foundation as Treasurer and the associated role in UNH Advancement of Associate Vice President of Finance and Administration. Prior to joining the Foundation, Erik served the University System of New Hampshire for five years as Associate Treasurer, and, for an interim period, as Treasurer. In that role, he interfaced with leadership at all of the USNH institutions and the Board of Trustees, and he oversaw USNH’s endowment portfolio, cash management functions, debt portfolio and risk/insurance program.

From 1999 through 2009, Erik was the Vice President of Finance and Administration at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in downtown Manchester. During this period the Institute was transformed from a century old, single building community arts education institution into a small residential visual arts college with over 400 full time residential Bachelor of Fine Arts students, 9 buildings and more than 100 employees.

Erik grow up in New Canaan, CT and graduated from Harvard College in 1984 with a BA in Classical Languages. He first came to the University of New Hampshire in 1989 to work in Academic Computing. In 1992, he moved over to NH Public Television as its Business Manager. He added an MBA from UNH to his academic credentials in 1997. Erik resides in Deerfield with his wife Nancy  97G and their three children. He enjoys skiing, golf, DIY projects and supporting his kids’ cross country efforts.

 

Tim Dunn

Managing Director and CIO, Terra Alpha Investments

Tim co-founded Terra Alpha Investments LLC. He designed and oversees the firm’s investment processes, funds, and operations.

Tim has over 30 years of experience in investment management. He spent the majority of his career at one of the largest active investment management firms in the world, Capital Group Companies. At Capital, Tim was one of the lead portfolio managers for many of the firm’s largest and most successful funds including Growth Fund of America, Capital World Growth and Income Fund, and EuroPacific Growth Fund. In total, Tim had direct responsibility for over $26 billion in client assets. During his 19 years at Capital, Tim lived and worked in Los Angeles, London, and Washington, DC. Throughout his career he has travelled extensively around the globe to build his expertise via on the ground research and meetings with company management teams and policy leaders.

Earlier in his investment career Tim was an equity analyst covering a diverse range of global sectors including consumer electronics, consumer staples, media, industrial companies, utilities (power and telecom), and electrical equipment. He was a Vice President and equity analyst at PNC Financial as well as an equity analyst at a unit of The Bank of Boston.

Additionally, Tim worked in London as an advisor to CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, on strategic planning and organizational effectiveness. He also served as the Director of Strategic Planning for the Piedmont Environmental Council and has served as a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy (Virginia Chapter) and on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary (including as Chair of the Finance Committee and the Investment Sub-committees). He was also the Chair of the board of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William & Mary.

Currently, he serves on the board of the PATH Foundation and is a member of the Global Leadership Council of the World Resources Institute.

He holds a BA in International Relations from The College of William & Mary and a MBA in Finance from Northeastern University. He has been a CFA charterholder since 1989.

 

 

Panel: Climate Change and Endowment Management – Investing Across the Asset Classes

Ken Locklin

Director , Impax Asset Management

Mr. Locklin currently serves as the North American Managing Director for Impax Asset Management LLC. Impax manages $3.6 billion of public and private equity investments for major institutional clients around the world. With more than a decade of experience, it is the global investment leader in the FTSE-tracked environmental sector, investing in clean energy, resource recovery/waste management, and water processing/distribution. Previously, Mr. Locklin was the Director of Finance and Investment with the Clean Energy Group (CEG), the private organization, which supports and advises clean energy investment efforts worldwide. CEG also works with the NGO Ceres to advise the Investor Network on Climate Risk, which brings together leading pensions and institutional investors committed to pursuing low carbon investment. Mr. Locklin also acted as a founding member of the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund management team, and was a Partner with EIF Group, where he worked with EIF’s Clean Energy investment interests across all its investment funds. He is a graduate of Yale University.

Gretchen Postula

Head of Investor Relations, North Sky Capital

Gretchen is the head of investor relations and is also the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer. She is part of North Sky Capital’s senior management team and is actively involved in strategic planning, fund development and staffing decisions. Previously, Gretchen was a marketing and planning coordinator with the PGA Tour and an original employee of Softspikes, Inc.

Gretchen earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Ferris State University.

 

David Sher

Co-CEO, Greenbacker Capital

David C0-Founded Greenbacker Capital in 2011 and currently leads all marketing, sales and business development efforts of the firm. Prior to this, he was a senior adviser at Prospect Capital Corporation, a mezzanine debt and private equity firm that manages a publicly traded, closed-end, dividend-focused business development company.

He has been a serial entrepreneur in the financial services and brokerage industry, having co-founded ESP Technologies, a leading provider of financial software and services to institutional asset managers and hedge funds, ElephantX dot com, an online brokerage company, and Lafayette Capital Management, a statistical arbitrage hedge fund. Before that, he spent six years at Bear Sterns where he developed trading ideas and strategies for institutional and brokerage correspondent clearing customers.

David graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Political Science and received his Masters of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Tim Coffin

Senior Vice President, Breckinridge Capital Advisors

Tim, senior vice president, is a consultant relations manager and director of sustainability at Breckinridge. He is also a member of the firm’s Sustainability Committee. In his role, Tim focuses on developing the firm’s institutional relationships. In his time at Breckinridge, Tim has helped lead the introduction of Breckinridge’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) capabilities to clients. He has been with the firm since 2012 and has over 30 years of fixed income experience.

Prior to Breckinridge, Tim was a vice president at Fidelity Investments where he launched and managed the firm’s municipal finance group within Fidelity Capital Markets. Prior to Fidelity, he spent over 10 years with Corby Capital Markets Inc. where he managed the sales and marketing teams and served his last 3 years as the firm’s president.

Tim speaks regularly at conferences on topics related to sustainable investing and finance. He is a member of the advisory committee for the Brookings Institute’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy Annual Municipal Finance Conference, and previously served on Municipal Fiscal Health Working Group for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Tim serves on the governing board for Ridley College in Ontario, Canada. He received a B.A. from Hobart College and holds a Series 65 license.

 

Minority Serving Institutions and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Felicia Davis

Cofounder, HBCU Green Fund, and Director, Building Green Initiative at Clark Atlanta University

Felicia M. Davis, Coordinates Sustainability for Clark Atlanta University and serves on the CAU Sustainability Council. She supports the CAU team approach to sustainability with a focus on campus-wide engagement.  A staunch advocate for measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency retrofits, green building and an array of sustainable practices, she founded the HBCU Green Fund to help finance green projects at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is a member of the leadership team for the NSF funded Science Education Resource Center InTeGrate Geoscience program advancing interdisciplinary teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future and co-leads the HBCU Geosciences Working Group.  She serves on the boards of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Green 2.0-an initiative dedicated to increasing racial diversity in environmental leadership and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper an environmental advocacy organization with almost 7000 members dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin. She began her environmental career with Ozone Action and then Greenpeace working on air quality and climate justice. She served as the Georgia Airkeeper director and later director of Mothers & Others for Clean Air housed by the Georgia Conservancy.  She is an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow, IGEL Fellow and Center for Whole Communities Member. An author of the 2002 Air of Injustice Report, she also produced the MSI Green Report, Sustainable Campuses-Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions, and the 2014 HBCU Green Report. Her favorite question is, “if we get it right what will it look like?”

 

Justin Wilson

Director, The Raben Group; Diverse Asset Managers Initiative

Justin combines his legal and economic background to help clients succeed. He is experienced in working with all three branches of government: he worked directly on the nominations and confirmations of Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and he has lobbied the Hill and the White House on issues including affordable housing and forensic science.

Justin’s major policy campaigns include the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative (DAMI), as well as the Chemical Safety Campaign around reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Diverse Asset Managers Initiative (DAMI) is an effort to increase the absolute number of, and assets under management by, diverse-owned asset management firms for institutional investors, with specific focus on public, corporate, faith and labor union pension funds as well as foundation and university endowments. The initiative seeks to meet these goals by working with trustees, investment staff and consultants, and asset managers to create best practices for finding, hiring, and retaining quality asset managers, and combating the narrative around the lack of availability in quality diverse managers.

 

Anthony Rust

Trustee, Warren Wilson College

Mr. Anthony Rust has been in the investment industry for over 25 years as a private equity investor, investment banker and impact investor. As an impact investor, Mr. Rust has effectuate change both as impact investment professional across asset classes and also as the Chair of the Investment Committee for Warren Wilson College’s endowment fund.

Currently, Mr. Rust is the Impact Fund Manager of the BEI Business Equity Fund, which is an innovative program and initiative designed to finance, invest and focus on Minority Business Enterprises, a business sector that has traditionally been denied and had a difficult time accessing the requisite capital for growth. This innovative program utilizes an active private equity fund model providing MBEs with strategic advisory and business distribution in addition to capital.

Additionally, Mr. Rust serves as a Partner at Caribbean Private Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in private companies and renewable energy projects around the Caribbean Basin. In addition to Mr. Rust’s private equity experience, during his professional tenure, Mr. Rust was an Investment Banker with the First Albany Corporation and Newport Capital. As an Investment Banker, Mr. Rust was involved in the structuring and underwriting of multi-million dollar senior managed financing transactions and co-managed financing transactions. Further, Mr. Rust assisted in providing financial advisory services to private market clientele, structured finance clients, authorities and issuers in the cumulative issuance of several billions of dollars of financing transactions. Additionally, as an Investment Banker, Mr. Rust provided quantitative analysis through self-designed and custom built in-house financial modeling software that provided financial plans and investment portfolios, performed cash flow analysis and structured debt service options.

Mr. Rust holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University and a Master’s Degree from The George Washington University / SUNY joint program and is a candidate for an International Masters of Business Administration from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill School of Business, Barbados, WI.

 

Doug Lawrence

Managing Principal, 5 Stone Green Capital

Doug Lawrence is Managing Principal and co-founder of 5 Stone Green Capital LLC, a 100% green real estate fund.   He has 30 years of distinguished real estate industry experience, and is an industry leader on the application of sustainable principles to real estate.

Prior to forming 5 Stone, Doug spent 13 years at JPMorgan as a key member of the real estate asset management team wherein he served as a trusted fiduciary to many large pension plans.

At JPMorgan, he was a Managing Director and co-Portfolio Manager of the 100% green real estate fund, the Urban Renaissance Property Fund.

Prior to being a fund manager, Doug was a Senior Asset Manager at JPMorgan.  Doug ran the Profit & Loss and value creation of a large portfolio of industrial, office, multifamily and retail assets of more than 5 million square feet valued in excess of $1 billion. As an asset manager, he won nine (9) international and national awards from peer groups BOMA, IREM and NAIOP.

Before joining JPMorgan, Doug spent seven years as a Senior Asset Manager for TIAA-CREF’s real estate investment group. He managed several iconic assets such as the Seagram Building on Park Avenue in New York City.

He also worked in the public sector as the Asset Manager for the City of Hartford.

Doug earned an MBA from the University of Connecticut in International Business Finance and received his BA from Yale University. He has lectured at Yale’s Graduate School of Management, on real estate, sustainable investing, impact investing, and ESG matters.

He is a frequent speaker on effectiveness of green building, impact investing, sustainability and ESG topics.

Doug is Vice-President of the National Association of Securities Professionals-NY, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut Foundation wherein he also sits on its Investment Committee.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of Third Way.  He also serves on the U.S. Board of Directors of the Climate GroupDoug holds or has held NASD series 7 & 63.

 

 

Robert Johnson

Chancellor, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Dr. Robert E. Johnson is chancellor of UMass Dartmouth, a Tier 1 national research university providing a private college educational experience and public university value. Prior to his 2017 appointment, he was president of Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts for seven years, leading the college’s evolution into an adaptive, nimble, and entrepreneurial institution that is a model for colleges and universities across the United States. His unyielding belief in higher education as a public good has led him to dedicate his life to providing transformational educational opportunities.

A thought leader and commentator on issues related to the future of work and education, Dr. Johnson believes students, through higher education, must develop divergent thinking skills, social and emotional intelligence, empathy, and an entrepreneurial outlook. These uniquely human capacities cannot be replicated by technology are the hallmarks of success in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous future.

Dr. Johnson’s 30-year leadership career spans non-profit colleges and universities in the Northeast and Midwest, spanning public, private, urban, rural, small and large institutions, with enrollments from 2,000 to more than 25,000 students. This experience includes public research universities, one of the nation’s largest single-campus community colleges, a large Catholic university, a historically Black university, and a turn-around and transformation of a small private college. His career reflects several firsts—as not only an African-American leader but also the youngest person holding major senior administrative roles.

Dr. Johnson is a proponent of innovation and entrepreneurship, hallmarks of his leadership include elevated institutional stature; improved institutional profile and competitive market position; national recognition; enrollment growth and resource development success; and fast-tracked facilities and infrastructure upgrades.

 

Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

Trustee, Green Mountain College

Dianne Dillon-Ridgley was born into a family with a legacy of civic and social activism dating back to Reconstruction in U.S. history. She cut her political teeth challenging the barriers of Race, Gender, Human Rights, Economic Disparity and embracing SUSTAINABILITY in all its dimensions and parameters domestically and internationally. Originally from Dallas, she is best known as a Human Rights Activist and Environmentalist who has advised and served on over twenty-three U.S. delegations at the UN and International forums spanning the tenure of three U.S. Presidents. By appointment of the White House she attended the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, followed by the 1997 UN General Assembly Special Session and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002 in South Africa, making her the only person to serve on all three US delegations.

From 1997 to 2014, she served on the board of Interface, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles and global leader in sustainable design.She was also a non-executive  director for and chair of the Green Mountain Energy Company environmental committee for six years before it was bought by NRG.For more than a dozen years, she contributed her expertise, insights and boundless energy to CIEL (the Center for International Environmental Law) including being the first female or person of color, to chair the Board of Trustees.

Currently the Executive Director of WNSF, the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future, she is also on the board of the National Wildlife Federation, former four time president of Population Connection, was the first female to chair the River Network board and was CEO of WEDO (the Women’s Environment and Development Organization) during the transition after founder, Congresswoman Bella Abzug passed away in 1998. For over a decade Dianne represented the World YWCA (Geneva, Switzerland) at UN Headquarters in New York, chairing the UN Millennium NGO-DPI Summit in 2000, which first introduced the Millennium Development Goals. In 1999 she was appointed to the Oxford University Commission on Sustainable Consumption and Production. She spent ten years as chair of the U.S. Partnership-Education for Sustainable Development and was recently elected to the board of the World Parliament of Religions, including their Climate Task Force.

In the 1980’s she was elected four times to head the Iowa Association of Human Rights Agencies and has spent over fifteen years on the Auburn University School of Human Sciences Board as well as the University of Iowa Tippie School of Business Management board. In 2013 Dianne was elected to the Green Mountain College Board of Trustees, where earlier they bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Laws when she was commencement speaker. She also helped to found “the 100 Grannies for a Livable Future” and Plains Justice, an environmental law center for the Great Plains region focused on ending the use of coal and promoting renewable energy adoption. Most recently (2017) Illinois Institute of Technology awarded by vote of the Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees an Honorary Doctorate of Science for innovation in Sustainable Design.

Dillon-Ridgley is committed to establishing the “Age of Sustainability”, facilitating the changes needed in our social architecture, democratizing institutions, expanding human rights for gender, ability/access issues and racial equity/equality, breaking down barriers and opening minds as well as doors-creating new language and frames to catalyze society.

Dianne lives in Iowa City, Iowa, has two adult children, Karima, who graduated from Harvard College and Dasal, who graduated from Morehouse in Atlanta.

 

Eric Darrisaw

Board, Green the Church

Eric Darrisaw is a Senior Consultant with Alternative Utility Services a national energy services practice. AUS and affiliated companies Community Green Energy ( Community Shared Solar Developer) and On Site Utility Capital (Energy Efficiency as a Service Finance) finances and develops energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Eric is Director of Agile Fractal Grid. Inc a hyper scale computing energy efficiency systems and advanced digital technology integration firm specializing in “Software Defined Electricity ” for micro grids, data centers, building electrical grids and advises Sunswarm Solar Inc a US department of Energy Sun shot program funded Shared Solar market place database platform for developers and community groups.

Mr  Darrisaw serves as a board member and is NYS Director  of the Green the Church Campaign a not for profit ecumenical organization focused on capacity building and Green community development in partnership with Black Church CDCs.

Green the Church collaborates with Inter faith Power and Light, US Green Building Council, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Green For All, Laborers International Union others on green jobs and energy project development in communities of color nationwide.

 

Henry Lancaster

Trustee, Lincoln University and Cofounder HBCU Green Fund

Henry is the principal and manager of Lancaster, Craig & Associates, a lobbying, association management and community relations firm in downtown Raleigh. He is a graduate of the Northeastern University of School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.   

Henry’s North Carolina legislative and policy experience include his having served in former Governor Jim Hunt’s administration in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  He served as department legislative liaison, assistant Secretary for Natural Resources, and deputy Secretary. After leaving state government, Henry worked at the North Carolina League of Municipalities as their Director of Intergovernmental Relations.

LCA opened its doors in February of 2001.  The firm’s client base includes local governments, trade associations, non-profits, public universities and private business concerns. He has served as a board member of the North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association and Audubon NC. Henry is a former Chair for the North Carolina Arboretum Board of Directors and a former member of the Institute for the Environment/UNC Board of Visitors.  He currently sits on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater Lincoln University.

 

Abdul Rasheed

Past Board Chair, Elizabeth City State University

Abdul Sm Rasheed was a founder and the former CEO of the North Carolina Community Development Initiative and Initiative Capital, a US Treasury Certified Development Finance Institution. For 20 years Abdul supported the development of public/private efforts supporting local community development corporations, leadership development and capacity building, working with local low income leaders, government, foundations, private corporations, banks and other financial institutions.  Abdul attracted 100 million in capital leveraging over 700 million in local development. Housing retail/ commercial, industrial, projects, provide housing for seniors and families, jobs and services in low income areas.

Currently Abdul serves as senior advisor to the board of Franklin- Vance- Warren Opportunity and coach to the Interim Executive Director. FVWOPP, Inc. is a $9 Million Community Action Agency serving 4 counties. In 2016-2017 Abdul served as CEO of Wildacres Leadership Initiative and its signature program William C. Friday fellowship for Human Relations from 2014-16.  Abdul served as Interim CEO of the Center for Leadership Innovation, managing the signature Bank of America –Neighborhood Leadership Initiative, a national Grant and Leadership development program.

For over 20 years Abdul hosted and conferred with delegations from 6 continents, studying the model and work of the community development Initiative. Abdul has been a sought –after speaker and served on local and national boards. Abdul has served as chairs for the Richmond Federal Reserve Regional Advisory Board, the Center for Community Self Help (Self Help Credit Union), the NC Housing Trust Fund, and the Elizabeth City State University Board of Trustees, as well as a finance and audit committee chair which has made Abdul an executive committee member of Vance Granville Community College Board. He has also served on the boards of the (Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta) State Farm bank National advisory board. Emerging Issues Forum, NC State University, and the National Center of the Black Aged.      

In 2017, Governor Roy Cooper appointed Abdul to the NC Rural Infrastructure Authority, a funding and investment system to support economic development, building reuse, and other economic interests throughout the state. Abdul also serves on the board of McGregor Hall performing Arts Center in Henderson, Abdul currently serves as chair of the National Alumni Association of Elizabeth City State University. He also chairs the North Carolina Historically Black Colleges and universities (HBCUs) National Alumni Roundtable, which is collaboration of the ten HBCUs in North Carolina. While fully committed, Abdul still finds time to coach a youth basketball team of 10-12 year olds in the local recreational basketball league.

Abdul has traveled extensively throughout the US, Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Mexico, and was the guest of the National conference of Black Housing Developers in Manchester England to advise on housing development for low income communities. Abdul holds a BS in Basic Business, MED in Counseling and personnel Services, MS in Community Economic Development, and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Management Program of the John F. Kennedy School Harvard University.

Abdul lives in Henderson and is married to Marolyn, they are the proud parents of five with seven grandchildren.        

 

Gladys Robinson

Board Chair, Bennett College and Deputy Minority Leader, North Carolina Senate

Senator Gladys Ashe Robinson, Deputy Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate, has been elected to her fifth term in the Senate. She is Chair of the Guilford County Delegation and is a dedicated advocate for the people of North Carolina, specifically Guilford County. Senator Robinson serves on the following Legislative Committees: Appropriations on Health and Human Services, Education/Higher Education, Commerce and Insurance, Health Care. Non-Standing Committees: Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee, Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice and Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. Senator Robinson also serves as the North Carolina/South Carolina Co-Chair of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Region V and the Governors State Health Coordinating Council.

Senator Robinson has served in executive leadership capacities for 45 years in health and human services, a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson and Johnson Health Care Executives Program. Recently retired, Senator Robinson has served as Executive Director for Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency ( a community based organization that addresses health disparities in minority communities, as sickle cell, HIV/AIDS and STDs, infant mortality, etc.) since 1982. She served as an Executive in Aging for 10 years. Senator Robinson is also a Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc., Board Member.

Senator Robinson is a graduate of Bennett College. She has earned both a Masters in Education and Counseling and a Ph.D in Leadership Studies from North Carolina A&T State University. She has certifications in Nonprofit Management.

As the senior woman and member of the Senate, Senator Robinson is a strong advocate for education, small businesses, jobs, women’s rights and ensuring health and quality of life for low income, minority, disabled and elderly populations. Senator Robinson was one of the originators of the “Breast Cancer Density Legislation”, she introduced legislation on Lupus, which passed the Senate; and she has worked on issues of domestic violence and homelessness; and was co-sponsor of the Statewide Standing Order/Opioid, S734, that also passed the Senate. Having served on the UNC Board of Governors for almost 10 years, she is the greatest proponent of higher education, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the public education system in our state.

Locally, she is on the Triad Adult & Pediatrics Medicine Board, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Chair of the Bennett College Board of Trustees, Democratic Women of Guilford County, Lillian’s List, Metropolitan Council of Negro Women and a life member of the PTA and NAACP. She was a founder of the Guilford Community AIDS Partnership, chaired the High Point AIDS Coalition and the first Guilford Coalition on Homelessness Committee. Senator Robinson has received many awards throughout her professional career, including: 2016 Public Service Award; 2015 Legislator of the Year Award, NC Association of Local Health Directors; 2015 Defenders of Justice Award for Legislative & Administrative Advocacy; 2015 Recipient of the Luther “Nick” Jerald’s Advocacy Award; 2015 Southern Health Association Outstanding Legislator Award; 2015 HBCU Living Legends Award; 2012 UNCF Alumni Hall of Fame Award; 2012 Trailblazer Award for Beautiful Butterflies Lupus Foundation; 2010 Sojourner Truth Award; 2009 Leadership Greensboro Community Award; 2006 McDonald’s Rhythms of Triumph Award; 2005 Moses Cone Wesley Long Community Health Award; 2000 Woman of Achievement in Health; 1994 NAACP Woman of the Year.

Senator Robinson has 2 adult daughters and 3 grandchildren; and is Asst. Church Clerk and a Sunday School Teacher at Providence Baptist Church.

 

Larry Robinson

President, Florida A&M University

Larry Robinson, Ph.D., is Florida A&M University’s (FAMU’s) 12th president and a distinguished professor and researcher in the School of the Environment at FAMU. Previously, he served as the interim president of FAMU from September 2016 to November 2017, from July 2012 to March 2014 and in 2007.

He also served as director of FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute from 1997 to 2003, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 2003 to 2005 and vice president for Research in 2009.

Dr. Robinson’s recent honors include an appointment in July 2018 to serve on the national STEM Education Advisory Panel. Congress authorized the creation of the panel to encourage U.S. scientific and technological innovations in education.

Dr. Robinson is actively engaged in research with students and faculty as the director and principal investigator of the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. The Center was established in September 2016 with a $15.4 million award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program. FAMU is leading the partnership and collaborating with five universities to make a major impact on coastal and marine ecosystems education, science and policy.

From 2001 to 2010, Dr. Robinson served as director of the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center housed at FAMU. His research interests include environmental chemistry, environmental radiochemistry, and environmental policy and management.

In 2007-2009, Dr. Robinson served as senior scientific advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.  In May 2010, he took a leave of absence from FAMU to serve in a U.S. Senate-confirmed position as assistant secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management at NOAA. While there, he supported and managed NOAA’s coastal and marine programs, including marine sanctuaries for preserving areas of special national significance, fisheries management, and preparation of nautical charts. He also supported NOAA’s participation in addressing the BP oil spill crisis, and served on the Ocean Policy Task Force and Gulf Coast Restoration Task Force.  

In November 2011, Dr. Robinson was asked to return to the University as a special assistant to the president and professor to coordinate administrative and eminent scholar searches and integrate Graduate Studies and Title III Programs within the Division of Sponsored Research. He was later asked to chair the University’s Crisis Management Team, which addressed a number of issues, including anti-hazing efforts. He was selected again as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs in March 2012.  

Dr. Robinson began his career at FAMU in January 1995 as a visiting professor in the Environmental Sciences Institute and later became director of the Institute in January 1997.

From 1984 – 1997, he served as a research scientist and group leader of a neutron activation analysis facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His research responsibilities at ORNL included trace element analysis in environmental science, epidemiology, forensics, material science and paleontology. His expertise also includes environmental radiochemistry, nuclear safeguards, and non-proliferation.

Dr. Robinson attended Lemoyne-Owen College, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry (summa cum laude) from Memphis State University and a doctorate in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Lorenzo Newsome

Chief Investment Officer, Smith Graham

Lorenzo Newsome, Jr., CFA, FRM, PRM has joined Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors as Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer. Lorenzo has nearly thirty years of investment experience. He brings deep financial risk management experience to his role of leading the investment team. Lorenzo is Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.

Lorenzo most recently served as Piedmont’s Chief Investment Strategist and fixed income portfolio manager to help with the transition of the asset purchase from NCM Capital in September 2016. Prior to joining Piedmont, Lorenzo served as President and Chief Investment Officer of NCM Capital. He was the leader of the investment team, responsible for all aspects of performance, as well as the lead portfolio manager on the high yield strategy. Previously, Lorenzo was CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Xavier Capital Management where he was responsible for providing financial oversight, strategic direction and overseeing the implementation of the firm’s investment strategies. Before that he served as Director of Risk Management, Alternative Assets at Friedman Billings Ramsey Investment Management (FBRIM) and prior to joining FBRIM, Lorenzo was a Senior Financial Risk Officer for the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO).

Lorenzo received a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and an MBA from Bowie State University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. In addition, he holds the Financial Risk Manager and the Professional Risk Manager designations and is a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals and the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association. His comments on fixed income markets have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, Leveraged Finance News and Associated Press articles. He also has published academic research papers in the Journal of Investing.

 

Climate Action Leadership by Faith-Based Higher Education Institutions

Anthony Cortese

Co-Founder and Senior Fellow, Intentional Endowments Network

Dr. Cortese is a principal of the Intentional Endowments Network and President of the Crane Institute of Sustainability. In 1993, he founded Second Nature, the Boston-based advocacy organization committed to promoting sustainability through higher education, along with U.S. Senator John Kerry, Teresa Heinz Kerry and Bruce Droste.

Dr. Cortese is Co-founder and Senior Fellow of the Crane Institute of Sustainability and the Intentional Endowments Network. He has been actively engaged in public policy and educational transformation on climate change and other large system sustainability challenges for 40 years. He founded Second Nature, the Boston-based advocacy organization committed to promoting sustainability through higher education, along with U.S. Senator John Kerry, Teresa Heinz Kerry and Bruce Droste. He served as Second Nature’s president from March 1993-August 2012.

He was the organizer of the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the Higher Education Association Sustainability Consortium.

He is Principal of Sustainable Visions, LLC a frequent consultant to higher education, industry and non-profit organizations on institutionalization of sustainability principles and programs.

Dr. Cortese was one of the founding employees of the US EPA and the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He was the first Dean of Environmental Programs at Tufts University and founded the award-winning Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute in 1989 that helped integrate environmental and sustainability perspectives in over 175 courses. He also organized the effort that resulted in the internationally acclaimed Talloires Declaration of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future in 1990 now signed by over 350 presidents and chancellors in over 50 countries.

Dr. Cortese is a trustee of Green Mountain College and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as a trustee of Tufts University and was a founding member of the board of directors of The Natural Step US and of the Environmental Business Council of New England. He has been a consultant to UNEP, a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board, President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development’s Education Task Force and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow for Higher Education.

Dr. Cortese is a frequent presenter to a wide variety of professional audiences. His writing can be found in a wide spectrum of publications. His essays on Education for Sustainability serve as foundational reading for transforming the process, content and practice of higher education.

Dr. Cortese has B.S. and M.S. Degrees from Tufts University in civil and environmental engineering, a Doctor of Science in Environmental Health Sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Allegheny College and the University of Maine Presque Isle and an Honorary Doctor of Science from State University of New York Oswego.

 

Dan Misleh

Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant

Dan Misleh is the founding executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant. Prior to this position, he spent 11 years in the department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and three years in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s social action office. After graduating from Xavier University in Cincinnati, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where he met his wife Susie (also a volunteer). Dan has received an M.A in theology from the Franciscans in Berkeley, CA in 1989.

 

 

Amanda Hanley

Co-Founder and Advisor, University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute, and Board Member, Global Catholic Climate Movement

Amanda has been promoting sustainable solutions for nearly 30 years, starting her career as an environmental consultant. Amanda currently serves as a board member of the Academy for Global Citizenship, a green Chicago Public Charter School; the Global Catholic Climate Movement; and As You Sow, focused on corporate accountability, as well as a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Midwest Council and Global Leadership Council. Along with her husband, George, she helped found and advises the University of Dayton’s Hanley Sustainability Institute. She is also on the advisory board of Loyola University Chicago Institute for Environmental Sustainability and the advisory circle of the Archdiocese of Chicago Encyclical Working Group. Amanda is a founding steering committee member of North Shore Green Women and steering committee member of Chicago Women In Green. She is also a member of Fresh Taste, an initiative to advance the Midwest’s good food system. She shares inspiring information on the foundation’s blog, along with local publications such as Crain’s Chicago Business and Make it Better Magazine. She has lectured and presented on panels at various universities and conferences.  Amanda graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Business Administration. In 2011, she began the Masters in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program at Northwestern University.

 

Tim Smith

Senior VP, Walden Asset Management, former ED, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Mr. Smith serves as the director of ESG shareowner engagement at Walden Asset Management.  Walden and Boston Trust & Investment Management incorporates environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis into investment decision-making for our clients.  We also strive to strengthen corporate ESG policies, performance, and accountability through shareholder engagement. As of February 2018 Walden and Boston Trust managed $8 billion in assets for individual and institutional clients.

Mr. Smith joined Walden in October 2000 and leads Walden’s ongoing shareholder engagement program to promote greater corporate leadership on ESG issues. This includes company dialogues, shareholder proposals, proxy voting, and public policy advocacy. Among the areas Walden focuses on are sustainability reporting, political spending and lobbying, board diversity, executive compensation and governance, climate change, supply chain standards, water use, and human rights. Mr. Smith is actively involved in representing Walden at public events and in fostering long-term client relationships. He is chair of Walden’s ESG Research & Engagement Committee and a member of the Corporate Governance Committee.

Previously, Mr. Smith served as executive director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) for 24 years.  ICCR coordinates corporate responsibility programs for over 300 religious, institutional investors committed to using shareholder advocacy to influence corporate conduct and promote social justice. ICCR has been a primary player in the corporate responsibility movement and social investment community since the early 1970s.

In 2007, Mr. Smith was named as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere Institute. In 2008, he was elected as a board member of the Wespath (the Board of Pensions of the United Methodist Church, one of the largest pension funds in the U.S. He serves on Wespath’s Principles Committee. In 2010, Mr. Smith received the Bavaria Award for Impact at the third annual Joan Bavaria Awards for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. In 2011 and 2012, he was named one of the most influential people in corporate governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Mr. Smith previously served as chair of USSIF, an industry trade group, for five years, and presently serves as co-chair of their Public Policy Committee. He chairs the board of Shared Interest, a South Africa development fund. Previously, Mr. Smith served on the boards of the Domini Social Equity Fund for ten years, World Neighbors, an international development organization, and the Kimberly-Clark Sustainability Advisory Board.

Mr. Smith earned a B.A. from the University of Toronto and masters of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary.

 

Jake Barnett

Institutional Consultant, Graystone Consulting

Jake Barnett is an Institutional Consultant with the Chicago office of Graystone Consulting, the independent Consulting Division of Morgan Stanley. Working with nonprofits, foundations/endowments, private wealth and other institutions to provide guidance on their investment programs, is a member of one of the largest institutional consulting practices at Morgan Stanley.  Drawing from his past experience working in the public affairs and non-profit sector both domestically and abroad, Jake brings a unique perspective to help clients align their investment programs to reflect their values and drive greater impact. Jake plays an active role in the Group’s manager due diligence and investment research efforts, with a particular focus on the rapidly evolving Impact Investing category and those clients who seek to align their investments to reflect their values.

Throughout his career, Jake has explored the connection between business and positive impact through numerous initiatives in the St. Louis and broader Midwest region, working with municipalities and corporations to incorporate environmental sustainability best-practices into their operations. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Jake was a Fellow with the FOCUS St. Louis Coro Program in Public Affairs within their experiential leadership training program.  He also worked in fundraising and as a grant writer for ACCION Chicago.

Over the past several years, Jake has played an instrumental role in the launch of the Catholic Impact Investing Initiative (CIIC) and currently serves on the Steering Committee for the organization. He has also served as a moderator for the St. Louis Impact Investing Discussion Series hosted in conjunction with Washington University.  Jake is a regularly requested speaker for groups interested in learning more about values aligned investing. He is active in supporting environmental non-profits in both regions, including as a past Board Member and Treasurer for St. Louis Earth Day, and is broadly involved in community conversations about impact investment.  Jake is a member of ICCR’s (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) Climate Leadership Group.

Jake holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation, awarded by the Investments and Wealth Institute formerly Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) in conjunction with the Yale School of Management. Jake is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a triple major in Economics, International Relations, and Political Science.

 

Higher Ed Anchor Mission Initiative & The Just Transition

Emily Sladek

Manager for Higher Education Management, Democracy Collaborative

Emily joined the Democracy Collaborative in November 2015. She leads the Collaborative’s higher education programming and manages the Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort program. In 2018 she formed a strategic partnership with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, known as the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative that includes over 30 public and private universities and colleges from across North America.

While originally from Iowa, she spent several years in the Pacific Northwest and earned a Masters in Public Administration degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Emily has a background in research and evaluation for academic bridge programs (TRiO) as well as the Gateways for Incarcerated Youth program, which provides education pathways to youth in the juvenile offender system. Previously, she interned with the Peace Economy Transitions program at the Institute of Policy Studies identifying best practices in community-led economic development in converting the defense industry to civilian uses.

 

Johanna Bozuwa

Research Associate, Democracy Collaborative

Johanna joins the Democracy Collaborative as a Research Associate. Her research focuses on transitioning from the extractive, fossil fuel economy and building towards resilient and equitable communities based on energy democracy.

Johanna received her M.Sc. in sustainable innovation from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She first worked with The Democracy Collaborative as a Master’s student while conducting research on how public ownership of electric utilities can be used as a strategy for energy democracy. She also has a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Barnard College, where she was an Athena Scholar for Women’s Leadership. She has organized around climate both in the United States and the Netherlands and most recently worked on divestment campaigns for pension funds, universities, and cultural institutions alongside groups such as Fossil Free NL and BothENDS. She was previously an Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Fellow, working to bridge the gap between scientists and society.

 

Vonda Brunsting

Program Manager, The Just Transition Project, Initiative for Responsible Investment, Harvard Kennedy School

Vonda is the Program Manager for The Just Transition Project. Before joining the IRI, she was the Director of the Capital Stewardship Program at Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which was created  to engage the capital markets and financial institutions in innovative ways. Prior to her time with SEIU, Vonda worked as a community organizer in Chicago, New York, and Boston with the Industrial Areas Foundation. In addition, she co-founded the Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security here at the IRI.  She earned her B.A. from Calvin College and A.M. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

 

Jennie Stephens

Director, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy, Director for Strategic Research Collaborations, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University

Jennie C. Stephens is the Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy and director of Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She is also director of strategic research collaborations at the Global Resilience Institute and co-director of the MS in Environmental Science and Policy. Her research, teaching, and community engagement focus on social and political aspects of the renewable energy transition and responses to climate change. Her research focuses on institutional and cultural innovation in the energy sector, including gender diversity and energy democracy, and technological optimism and the “usability” of climate science in climate mitigation and adaptation. Professor Stephens is a 2015-2016 Leopold Leadership fellow, and her book Smart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Struggles (Cambridge University Press, 2015) explores social and cultural debates about energy system change (co-authored with Wilson & Peterson). Before Northeastern, Professor Stephens was on the faculty at the University of Vermont (2014-2016) and Clark University (2005-2014). She earned her PhD at Caltech in environmental science & engineering and her BA at Harvard in environmental science & public policy.

 

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