What brought you to Yale?
I was initially drawn in by the opportunity to attend a highly ranked executive program on a schedule that fit my needs. The ability to focus in sustainability cemented my decision as it would not only draw other sustainability professionals, but a portion of the coursework would be directly related to my interests.
How have you impacted sustainable practices in your career?
I began my career as a climate modeler, contributing to the research community by publishing in academic journals. I then transitioned to focusing on climate adaptation and infrastructure resilience. My consulting career is centered around improving the sustainability of the U.S. federal government, which has one of the largest environmental footprints in the world. My favorite and most impactful projects have increased federal adoption of energy efficient building technologies. Even small improvements in this area can have large impacts due to the size of the federal government; two of the largest building portfolios in the country are the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration and I have been fortunate enough to have a hand in improving the performance of both
What challenges do you see for sustainability in your industry?
Federal buildings are required by executive order to continue improving their energy efficiency. Many have already “picked the low-hanging fruit”, so they must now look to state-of-the-art technologies for further improvements. However, there are significant challenges to actually deploying these technologies in the field. Individual building managers are generally unwilling to take on the risk associated with new technologies, even when they’ve been vetted in an independent study. If they are willing to take the risk, procurement can still be difficult due to strict federal acquisition regulations and funding constraints (e.g., “color of money”).
Tell us one thing about yourself that might surprise your classmates.
I’m a nerd. I play video games and can code in Fortran (plus some more useful languages). As a result, I’m often reluctant IT support for my family and coworkers.