The Yale Center for Business and the Environment, along with the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, welcomes Heather Fitzgerald as the Center’s first Program Manager. In this position, Fitzgerald will work closely with students on the development of new initiatives and internship opportunities around the world. She will also spearhead CBEY’s marketing and communication efforts while strengthening the Center’s corporate partnerships.
Fitzgerald arrived at Yale in January of 2012, joining the Yale Center for Customer Insights (YCCI) after 15 years of experience providing market research for various multinational companies. As a Connecticut native, she was always aware of Yale, and fatigue with the private sector led her to consider applying what she’d “learned in those 15 years in a different way, in an academic setting.”
Over nearly three-and-a-half years at YCCI, Fitzgerald collaborated with CBEY on multiple occasions, though she recalls the first encounter—the Colloquium on Sustainability Marketing—particularly clearly. “I was so enamored,” she said, describing the impassioned discussions that took place among business leaders, students and faculty. “I began to think that maybe I could use these skills that I have not just in an academic setting, but to make a real difference.”
The commitment, energy and engagement of the CBEY students were especially inspiring. “I wanted to work with them from that first meeting,” she said. “And now, the fact that I get to do it full-time is kind of unbelievable.” She sees the core mission of CBEY embodied in its students; in them, she sees the potential for radical and powerful progress.
“I think the most change is going to come from startups and entrepreneurs, from the students who come into the Center and create things the way they feel they should be done—finding new models, breaking molds,” she said. “These are the people—at Yale, at F&ES—who are going to go out there and make it happen.”
We invite you to visit the CBEY office to say hello. And check out a short interview with Fitzgerald to learn more about the sustainability issues she cares most about, a few of her favorite New Haven spots, and why a brook in her backyard (in some ways) prepared her for this job. Fitzgerald profile_QA.pdf