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New York University’s local response to the storm suggests lessons and opportunities for NYC as a whole, prompting questions about the role of institution-level leadership within cities and about the relationship between environmental education, applied research, urban infrastructure, and community resilience in times of crisis.
Panel presenters will share and discuss perspectives on NYU and NYC’s disaster response, adaptation and mitigation efforts in the context of sustainability. The discussion to follow will help us explore how we can strengthen these efforts, adapt and even thrive under the “new normal.”
Refreshments will be served.
Howard S. Schiffman
NYU Environmental Conservation Education
Howard S. Schiffman, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. is Visiting Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation Education at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. He teaches courses in Contemporary Environmental Debates and International Environmental Governance. Dr. Schiffman previously served as Senior Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand (2010) and General Editor of the book Green Issues and Debates: An A-to-Z Guide (Sage, 2011).
NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability
Leah Cohen is the Policy Advisor on Climate Resilience with the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability in New York City. Leah is responsible for coordinating with other City agencies to develop and implement City resilience efforts under PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg’s long-term sustainability plan. She also chairs the NYC Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which is working to address climate risks to the city’s infrastructure and natural areas. Previously, Leah worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on climate adaptation and for the Mayor’s Office in San Francisco on urban sustainability. Leah holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School.
Architecture for Humanity
Jennifer Dunn, Managing Director of Architecture for Humanity”s New York Chapter, has been volunteering with the organization for the past four years in a variety of capacities. Prior to her current appointment, Jennifer volunteered for two years as a project coordinator of the community outreach and design competition “FlyNY.” She later served as the chapter”s Director of Records. In her spare time, Jennifer is a licensed architect currently practicing in New York. She graduated from Montana State University with her Masters of Architecture in 2007 and received her license in 2011.
NYU Office of Sustainability
Jeremy Friedman founded the Office of Sustainability at New York University, where he works to develop systems which empower people to make change throughout a highly decentralized, hyper-urban community, improving environmental performance and fostering a culture of ecological literacy. In six years since its inception, the Office has guided NYU towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, tripled environmental course offerings, and implemented a suite of continuously-evolving engagement programs that allow thousands of staff, faculty and students to play a direct role in “becoming the change they wish to see in the world.” Jeremy has also consulted on behalf of local and national organizations as well as international governments on topics such as structuring public participation in green initiatives; how to accelerate and sustain institutional change; and how to strategically frame and message environmental policies. He completed a degree in Environmental Values and Public Policy at NYU’s Gallatin School, studying intersections across fields of politics, philosophy, communications and design, and has since taught as an adjunct professor of Environmental Studies.
NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment and NYU CUSP
Dr. Constantine E. Kontokosta, PE, LEED AP, is the Deputy Director of the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress. As a member of the leadership team, Dr. Kontokosta is working to define and implement the strategic priorities of the center, leading the creation of the educational program and defining CUSP research projects in the area of building efficiency. He is also the Founding Director of the NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment, a research center focused on data-driven finance and policy innovations for sustainable property markets, and is an adjunct associate professor at the Wagner School of Public Service. Dr. Kontokosta has worked on research projects with numerous NYC agencies, most recently providing the analysis for the Local Law 84 Building Energy Benchmarking Report. He has been named a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the field of Urban Planning and has won awards for Teaching Excellence and Outstanding Service at NYU.
Carlos E. Restrepo
NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Carlos E. Restrepo is a research scientist at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Carlos is also adjunct assistant professor at NYU and his main areas of research and teaching include sustainable urban development, environmental health and policy, environmental impact assessment, infrastructure and research methods. His publications have appeared in journals including the International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Risk Analysis: An International Journal, International Journal of Critical Infrastructures and Atmospheric Environment. He has a PhD in Public Administration from the Wagner School.
NYU Wallerstein Collaborative
Mary Leou is the founding director of the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, established at NYU in 2000 to promote environmental literacy in urban settings. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Education and Director of the Environmental Conservation Education graduate degree program in Steinhardt.Mary earned her undergraduate and doctorate degree from Columbia University.
Over the past 12 years, she has raised over $1.5 million for environmental education at NYU. Formerly the Director of Education with City Parks Foundation, Mary worked on one of the city’s largest urban forest restoration projects in NYC. This afforded her opportunities to educate people of all ages about New York City’s natural areas. She serves on numerous boards and is the former chair of the Environmental Education Advisory Council of NYC. She has received many awards for her work, including two Environmental Quality Awards from the Environmental Protection Agency for her leadership in environmental education. This past year she was recognized by the National Audubon Society as a “Woman Greening the City” and at present she co-chairs the NYS Environmental Literacy Committee; a state-wide coalition of organizations engaged in developing an environmental literacy plan for the State of New York.