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.

 

 

David Sand

Chief Impact Strategist, Community Capital Management

Next Level Conversation: Leadership on Climate Change as a Path to Student Engagement, Retention and Lifelong Loyalty

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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 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.

 

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.

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 effectuated change both as impact investment professional across asset classes and also as Trustee and 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 had a difficult time accessing the requisite capital for growth.  This innovative program utilizes an active private equity fund model providing MBEs with embedded strategic advisory services and business distribution resources 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 multimillion-dollar senior managed financing transactions and co-managed financing transactions. Further, Mr. Rust assisted in providing financial advisory and capital raising services to private market clientele, structured finance clients, authorities and issuers in the cumulative issuance of several billions of dollars of financing transactions.

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 Master of Business Administration from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill School of Business, Barbados, WI.

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

 

 

Imogen Rose-Smith

Investment Fellow, University of California

 

 

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