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Who We Are

Sustainability Office


Ozgem Ornektekin · Director, Office of Sustainability is responsible for providing visionary leadership, strategy and direction for advancing and integrating sustainability and energy conservation principals into the operational functions of the New York University. Prior to joining NYU, Ozgem served as the first Director of Sustainability at the NYC Department of Education responsible for creating and implementing a sustainability strategy for the NYC Department of Education to meet its energy conservation, recycling, ecology and green curriculum goals and objectives. She is also adjunct faculty at the New York School of Interior Design. She is a 2010-2011 NYC Department of Education Chancellor’s Fellow, a LEED Accredited Professional and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver.


Dianne Anderson · Sustainable Resources Manager manages NYU's sustainability, energy and resource conservation efforts. Areas of responsibility include directing energy and water reduction projects in over 160 buildings of varied usage and occupancy, design review, audits and measurements, demand response, and NYU Recycling Services.

Prior to NYU, Dianne was the Resource Conservation Specialist for the County of San Mateo, located in California, where she taught green building design workshops, launched a Green Business Program, and directed Construction & Demolition Debris recycling requirements. She also brought together a Utility & Sustainability Task Force to produce a Countywide Energy Strategy.

Dianne received her Master's of Public Administration from NYU's Robert F. Wagner's Graduate School of Public Service, B.S. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University and Green Building Certification from Sonoma State University. She is a Certified Energy Auditor.

Dianne is passionate about living green and will gladly tell you about her home remodeling projects using green, environmentally-friendly products.


George Reis · Supervisor of Sustainable Landscaping, NYU Garden Shop studied horticulture and garden design at the New York Botanical Garden. He became motivated to seek out a natural systems approach to plant care after being licensed to apply restricted-use pesticides by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. A member of MetroHort and the Ecological Landscaping Association, George joined the Northeast Organic Farming Association in order to adapt their methods of organic land care to the urban gardens of NYU.

George came to NYU as a gardener in 1995 and studied Portuguese and Brazilian literature in NYU's College of Arts and Science. His translation of a Portuguese poem appeared in Mantis, a literary journal at Stanford University. He has begun translating selected writings of Roberto Burle Marx, the great Brazilian landscape architect. George and his wife Ethel live in leafy Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.


David Seaward · Programs Coordinator facilitates and administers projects that have been awarded NYU Green Grants, scopes energy efficiency projects, and oversees the NYU Bike Share and data for our GHG inventory. He is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he formed his model of “Sustainable Consumerism” – an advanced society that retains modern emphases on an efficient division of labor and resource allocation while promoting sustainability through education infused with deep sense of community and global interconnection. David works for Sustainability at NYU because he believes that higher education can be the incubator of best practices, and eventually plans to manifest his knowledge through a fast food restaurant called DestinyDelish©, which will serve sustainable health food at the price of McDonald's. He’s also a mentor at Urban Art Beat and his past experiences include teaching the 2nd Grade at Salybia Primary School in Dominica, W.I. and performing in various musical outfits such as Wellness Exchange.


Jessie Baker · NYU Sustainability Task Force & Engagement received her Masters degree from NYU Steinhardt's Environmental Conservation Education program, where she explored interests in resource security and developmental challenges. Professionally, her experience has ranged from teaching in Juvenile Court Schools to advising climate-conscious media campaigns and regional climate action plans. Prior to her time in the Office of Sustainability, she received her B.A. in Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine where she coauthored several publications on electricity consumption in the residential sector, particularly focusing on energy feedback devices. In light of her research, Jessie has been the recipient of numerous grants and has had her work presented at several conferences throughout the nation. In addition to her efforts with the Sustainability Task Force, Jessie is working alongside several colleagues to pursue an Environmental Education plan in Sierra Leone and hopes to launch the program by late 2013. In addition to the Task Force, Jessie oversees the Sustainability Advocate Program, EcoReps, and the Pledge.


Eric Sluyter · Coordinator, Web Development & Graphic Design Program is a graduate of Steinhardt's Music Technology program. Things that are important to him include striving to understand how the world works, creating spaces in which people can meaningfully share experiences and worldviews, and listening to every sound he hears with the same level of curiosity and wonder. He is very interested in music, biking, nature, programming, language, and the artistic intersections thereof; he can frequently be found crafting beautiful, dimensional sounds and exploring the stories they have to tell.


Erik Battista · Coordinator, Bike Share Program is a student of Urban Design and Architecture in CAS who enjoys the freedom he receives from his bike to explore the city in a fast, engaging, and stimulating way. He comes into his time at the Office of Sustainability hoping to continue growing the number of riders at NYU and making the experience an increasingly convenient and practical choice in everyday life. When not on two wheels Erik tends to spend time honing his chef skills, retreating to nature, working in the community gardens by his house and sleeping. He hopes to compete in a cyclocross race at some point in the next year.


Brynn O'Donnell · Coordinator, Student Programming is a freshman in CAS studying Environmental Science, with a minor in Biology and Documentary. She aspires to one day work in the renewable energy sector, increasing the accessibility the average family has to a sustainable lifestyle. She is an active member of Earthmatters! and one of the founders of the (prospective) Environmental Studies Club. Although Netflix and skating take up much of her time, she's always eager to geek out about the environment or embark on outdoor adventures.


Arman Bhuiyan · Program Assistant, Green Grants & Digital Media is a sophomore studying Finance and Business Economics at the Stern School of Business with a minor in Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences. Although he hopes to pursue a career in the corporate world, he is particularly interested in changing corporate culture and implementing sustainable business practices in the workplace and throughout the financial services industry. In the future, due to his interests in business, psychology and sustainability, he hopes to become actively involved in projects to apply progressive economic models to improve the socioeconomic conditions of impoverished communities and develop sustainable infrastructure in underdeveloped societies. He enjoys discovering new music, reading, going on adventures without maps or destinations, and playing basketball.


Leon Yin · Program Assistant, Recycling & Composting looks for practical solutions, taking a sensible approach whenever possible. Always thinking two meals ahead, Leon is intent on turning student-generated ideas into institutional practices. Aside from his ceaseless hunger, Leon believes in fostering a strong community of environmentally-minded peers. Leon views student mentorship as invaluable and free concerts as irresistible.

Leon can be spotted skateboarding through campus year-round, sporting a red beanie in the winter and a black snapback in the summer, flag him down and say hello!


Coby Kalter · Coordinator, Sustainability Advocate Program is a student at NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU Wagner) where he is a candidate for a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) in Public and Non-Profit Management and Policy.

Prior to coming to the NYU Office of Sustainability, Coby was the Policy Intern at B Lab, an organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental issues. He has also worked with NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) as an intern in their Corporate Partnerships and Education programming. Before this he worked with GrowNYC as a Food Box Coordinator, where he was responsible for managing a “CSA” like program for communities in Brooklyn. Lastly before coming to NYU as a student, he was a Team Member in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in which he worked on several community service projects in the Western US with a team of 12. At Wagner he holds a board position at Bridge: Students for Social Innovation as a Co-Director of the Social Enterprise Bootcamp, a conference dedicated to social entrepreneurs.

In his spare time, you can find him playing guitar, hiking, biking, exploring the various neighborhoods in NYC or getting lost in one of the city’s many parks.


Mariana Macedo · Coordinator, Recruitment and Engagement is a Master of Environmental Conservation Education Candidate with NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She comes to the Office of Sustainability with experience working for an education technology start-up in student recruitment in Washington, DC and Hong Kong. Mariana earned her Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Maryland, College Park and has a deep interest in wildlife conservation. She enjoys traveling, reading, and getting to know New York City.


Kara Leary · Energy Coordinator is a student at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress pursuing a master’s degree in Data Science and Urban Informatics, and is particularly interested in exploring how big data can be leveraged to make cities around the world greener. She has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a minor in French Language and Culture from UCLA. While at UCLA she served as co-president of the Green the Greeks club, aimed at making Greek houses on campus more environmentally friendly, and also worked as an IT technician in the recreation department. In her free time, she loves traveling, hiking, running, and sailing.


Derrick Abban · Energy Coordinator is a M.S. candidate studying Energy and Environmental Policy at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland, College Park where he majored in Government & Politics and minored in International Development & Conflict Resolution. In the future he hopes to transition into energy consulting and translate this experience back into the international development sector. In his free time he enjoys writing songs, dancing, singing, and of course long walks on the beach under the moonlight.

Office Alumni (click to expand)


Vrunda Vaghela
Coordinator, Sustainability Advocate Program


Emily Genser
Coordinator, Recycling and Composting Program


Jeremy Friedman
Manager, Sustainability Initiatives


Brian Welesko
Web Development and Graphic Design


Tara Eisenberg
Coordinator, Sustainability Advocate Program


Kayla Santosuosso
Coordinator, Conservation and Engagement


Mike Sandmel
Coordinator, Bike Share Program


Robert Raymond
Coordinator, Bike Share Program


Melissa Cronin
Program Assistant, Engagement & Communications


Kelsey Desiderio
Coordinator, Engagement & Communications


Adam Krebs
Chief Web Wrangler


Hanny Ahern
Program Assistant, Web & Communications


Sarah Boll
Recycling Coordinator


Kate Fritz
Program Assistant, Sustainability Advocates and Environmental Purchasing


Evrim Sahin
Program Assistant, Sustainability Website


Stephanie Phillips
Program Assistant, Climate Action Plan


Zoe Abram
Program Assistant, Sustainability Advocates and NYU Green Grants


Shane Crary-Ross
Program Assistant, Outreach and Engagement


Su-Anne Huang
Program Consultant, Climate Action Plan


Jelani John
Program Assistant, Sustainability Website


Max Liboiron
Program Assistant, Green Grants


Joe Beaglehole
Program Assistant, Sustainability Advocate Program


Ashwini Srinivasamohan
Program Assistant, Outreach and Engagement


Wesley Chen
Program Assistant, Sustainability Website


Michael Zick Doherty
Program Assistant, Special Projects


Zack Davidson
Program Assistant, Energy and Transportation