The following individuals represent the core research team, though we are supported by researchers, faculty, and students at the Earth Institute and Columbia University. Our work is naturally collaborative. Earth Institute researchers work across the Institute, the university, across fields and disciplines, and with partners throughout academia in the US and globally. We frequently partner with the non-profit, private, and government organizations.
The Research Program is led by Dr. Steven Cohen, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Director of the Masters of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education. He is a consultant, former policy analyst, and former member of the Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology for the U.S. EPA. Cohen is the author of several books, including Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (2015), Sustainability Management (2011) and Understanding Environmental Policy (2006), and is a regular contributor for the Huffington Post on issues sustainability management and environmental policy. He is a graduate of Franklin College of Indiana (1974) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (MA, 1977; PhD, 1979). Dr. Cohen views the forthcoming research as a necessary next step in moving the needle towards more rigorous sustainability initiatives.
Dr. Satyajit Bose has been a key faculty member engaged in the development of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management, guiding the research agenda and leading the sustainability metrics project with Dr. Cohen. Dr. Bose is Lecturer at Columbia University, where he teaches sustainable investing, cost benefit analysis, and mathematics, and serves as Associate Director of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program. He is also Co-Chair of the University Seminar in Sustainable Finance, a forum for faculty and finance practitioners to discuss and research methods to use the financial system, with the help of technology, innovative design and disruptive change, to mobilize capital for sustainable development and widespread beneficial impact. His current research interests include the optimal use of a broad array of environmental performance metrics for long horizon investment choices. Dr. Bose has extensive expertise in investment banking, asset management, financial restructuring and automated weather risk management. Among other positions, he was a mergers & acquisitions banker, directed quantitative trading strategies at a convertible arbitrage hedge fund managing $1.5 billion in assets, and developed machine learning algorithms to optimize weather-based decision tools. Bose holds a BA and a PhD in economics from Columbia University.
Dr. Guo Dong is an Associate Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, a Lecturer at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and Associate Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management. He received his PhD in Economics and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Guo’s expertise lies in impact and evaluation methods and his dissertation focused on the labor market returns to public education spending in China. Guo also received a BSc in Economics from University College London, UK, and holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He has conducted significant research on China, including on the reform and practice of the Chinese rural taxation system. Guo is currently working on evaluations of sustainability programs, development of sustainability indicators and frameworks in China, and expanding the Research Program’s work into China. He is also co-authoring a book with Dr. Bose on the use of green accounting and sustainability metrics by businesses and governments.
Alison Miller, the Program’s Associate Director, is a sustainability policy and management specialist and Deputy Director for Management at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, where she has worked since 2011. Miller received her MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her BA in Economics and International Relations from the University of Delaware. From 2007-2010, Miller worked as a business development associate for an asset management firm. She has co-authored papers and studies on climate policy, sustainability, and management and policy analysis, and is co-author of Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (2015).
Kelsie DeFrancia is Assistant Director for the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management, where she is responsible for administrative, operational, and financial management of the program, as well as providing stewardship and research support. She is also a lecturer in sustainability management at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies and has provided curriculum development on sustainable development topics for Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. DeFrancia has co-authored papers, articles, and studies on sustainability metrics and Chinese environmental policy. She received her Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and her BA in Environmental Studies and Spanish from Westminster College in Utah. Prior to attending Columbia, DeFrancia worked for the U.S. Geological Survey performing field work and geospatial analysis, and in Latin America with environmental conservation programs.
Hayley Martinez is a Program Manager at the Earth Institute, providing project management, research coordination, event planning, outreach and operations support. She is also a lecturer in sustainability management at the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University. She has co-authored case studies, white papers and articles on environmental policy and sustainability. She previously worked at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for the Climate Change Adaptation Program, and at the nonprofit Pure Earth. Martinez has an MPH in Environmental Health Policy from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, and a BS in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Allison Bridges joined the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management in fall 2017 as a Postdoctoral Fellow after receiving her PhD from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. As a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow, her dissertation explored the role of institutional and technological innovation in improving the sustainability of urban systems, particularly in the land and energy sectors in Brazil. During her postdoctoral appointment, Dr. Bridges will be continuing her research on institutions, local level governance, and the use of sustainability indicators in decision making. Prior to earning her PhD, she worked for the World Bank and the World Health Organization, in addition to studying microfinance as a Fulbright Fellow in Indonesia. She also holds degrees from New York University (MA), The New School (MA), and the University of Georgia (BA).
Lei Ma is the China Program Officer for the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management. Based in Beijing, China, she supports the strategic priorities and activities of the program’s China-related projects and initiatives. Ma is dedicated to environmental protection and social innovation, having worked with the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Kiva, and Storefront. She received her MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and her BS in finance and public affairs at Indiana University Bloomington.
Faculty Advisory Council
Michael Gerrard lends his extensive experience in environmental law to the Program. A world-renowned expert, Gerrard has practiced environmental law in New York City since 1979, and is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice Columbia Law School. Formerly the managing partner of the 110-lawyer New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP, Gerrard is an accomplished trial and appellate litigator. His practice handles the environmental aspects of numerous transactions and development projects, and provides regulatory compliance advice to a wide variety of clients in the private and public sectors. A prolific writer in environmental law and climate change, Gerrard twice received the Association of American Publishers’ Best Law Book award for works on environmental law and brownfields. He has written or edited eleven books, including Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, the leading work in its field and the twelve-volume Environmental Law Practice Guide. Several independent rating services ranked Gerrard as the leading environmental lawyer in New York and one of the leading environmental lawyers in the world. Gerrard has an almost unique ability to bridge the public interest and corporate worlds.
Dr. William Eimicke lends his expertise in public management, applied policy analysis, and management innovation. Eimicke is the founding director of the Picker Center for Executive Education of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The Picker Center runs the School’s Executive MPA program, university partnerships, and non-degree professional training programs. He has served as a management consultant to numerous government and private organizations, including the City of Indianapolis, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the San Francisco Giants and the New York Racing Association. Eimicke served as the Deputy Fire Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Policy from 2007 through the spring of 2010. Eimicke previously served as housing “czar” of New York State for Governor Mario Cuomo, managing the state’s six housing management, finance, and regulatory agencies. He also provided housing policy and management consulting services to Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review. Eimicke previously served as director of fiscal studies for the New York State Senate, assistant budget director of the City of New York, and deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Dr. Tanya Heikkila lends her expertise in the areas of environmental policy and public management. She is an Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Director at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver, and an Adjunct Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Previously, she was an assistant professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Associate Director of the Columbia Water Center. From 2001-2002, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Indiana University’s Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Dr. Heikkila has taught courses in public management, environmental policy and management, research design, and policy implementation. Her research, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the PepsiCo Foundation, focuses on environmental policy and governance and comparative institutional analysis. She has explored institutions for resolving environmental conflicts, the organization of collaborative ecosystem restoration programs, as well as the performance of special purpose governments. Dr. Heikkila has published numerous articles and coauthored a book titled Common Waters Diverging Streams: Linking Institutions and Water Management in Arizona, California, and Colorado.