Nesha Abiraj is an International Human Rights Lawyer. She has worked as a Senior Specialist in Advocacy and Policy in the International Humanitarian Response Division of Save the Children, USA. She also served as an Advocacy Lead for UNICEF USA. In 2018, Nesha became the first person from Trinidad & Tobago to be awarded the Schuette fellowship in Global Health and Human Rights. She pursued and completed her fellowship with the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch in New York. In 2019, she became the first person from Trinidad &Tobago to be awarded the Citation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for her tireless work to protect the children of the Commonwealth from early, forced and child marriages. Nesha has worked on global human rights policies related to the rights of women and children and global health and human rights. Notably she worked on infectious diseases law and policy in India, China and the United States. She has also done over a decade of humanitarian service in the aftermath of natural disasters and recently in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Caribbean and the United States.
Diplomatic and Advocacy Liaison, Ocean States; Advocacy & Partnerships US and Caribbean, Stop Ecocide InternationalHot Potato - Who Holds the Climate Liability Bag? (Friday, 11:00am)
Dean currently serves as Chief of Staff for MWRD Commissioner Kim du Buclet. Dean is responsible for the crafting and implementation of the office's community and external engagement efforts for collaboration with public and private stakeholders across Cook County. He has worked in both the public and nonprofit sector during his career in a wide range of positions focusing on community engagement and government relations. He has served as the Director of Economic Development for the City Treasurer's Office, which he launch the first in its kind impacting investment fund focusing on neighborhood development as well as the implementation of ESG investing strategies for the City of Chicago investment portfolio. Dean is a son of Chicago. He is a product of CPS education from K-12 and currently serves on the Local School Council for his neighborhood school as a community representative. Dean has earned a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University and his MPPA from Northwestern University. He sits on several civic-focused organizations here in Chicago seeking to support sustainability and economic development efforts in communities across Chicago.
Chief of Staff for Commissioner Kim de Bucle, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD)PFAS, Emerging Contaminants, and Trace Organics Remediation (Friday, 11:00am)
Dr. Grace Andrews currently serves as Vice President and Head of Science at Vesta PBC, advancing the Research and Development of an ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) strategy called Coastal Enhanced Weathering. Prior to her role at Vesta, Dr. Andrews worked for the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation in the United Kingdom where she led the design, execution, and analysis of the world’s first large-scale field pilot projects of a related CDR strategy called Terrestrial Enhanced Weathering at locations around the globe. Dr. Andrews holds a PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Northwestern University where she specialized in aqueous isotope low-temperature geochemistry.
Vice President and Head of Science, Vesta PBCBeyond Neutrality: Jumpstarting the Carbon Negative Economy (Thursday, 3:30pm)
Professor Axford studies climate and environmental change, primarily through the lens of paleolimnology (the study of lake sediments and past lake environments). Her work is aimed at understanding climate change and glacier fluctuations in Arctic and alpine environments, most recently around the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Much of her research has focused on the Holocene (the last 11,000 years of Earth's history), but her work ranges from the Pliocene to the present.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern UniversityScience Communication, Misinformation, and Climate (Friday, 2:30pm)
Beth and her husband, Jim, moved from the Chicago suburbs to Galena in 1988, where they have raised their son and established an architectural practice. Beth has used her architectural education along with her research, writing and facilitation skills over the years to promote thoughtful community development. She has worked with residents and governmental entities to identify priorities, document consensus, and secure project funding with an ongoing focus on historic preservation and conservation values. As a member of the League of Women Voters of Jo Daviess County, Beth has been working for over a decade on water resource management issues to support informed land use decisions.
Board Member, League of Women Voters in Jo Daviess CountyLessons from Effective Public Engagement for Climate Action (Thursday, 10:00am)
Professor Barsa has written widely on food security and climate change, international environmental claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act, risk perception, the Public Trust Doctrine, the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and judicial review in an age of hyper-polarization. Professor Barsa’s opinion pieces have appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times, and he has been interviewed on WTTW Chicago Tonight and on international radio. He has received numerous teaching awards, including the Robert Childres Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence and the Outstanding Professor Award in the Master of Science in Law Program. He also lectures to high school students about environmental issues and was a keynote speaker for the Midwest State of the Junior State of America.
Professor of Practice, Co-Director of the Environmental Law Concentration, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern UniversityMajor Questions and the Administrative State: The Future of U.S. Climate Regulation (Friday, 10:00am); Hot Potato - Who Holds the Climate Liability Bag? (Friday, 11:00am)
Megan Baskerville is the IL Ag Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. Megan works closely with the ag sector in a collaborative approach to help farmers and ranchers meet the growing demand for food production while protecting critical lands and waters for people and nature. Before joining TNC in 2017, Megan was the watershed specialist for Macon County Soil & Water Conservation District and volunteered with AmeriCorps. Megan received her B.S. in Geography and Environmental Resources from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Illinois Ag Program Director, The Nature ConservancyRegenerative Agriculture and Climate (Thursday, 2:30pm)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sociology, Northwestern UniversityClimate Migration of People (Friday, 1:30pm)
Julia Behrman’s research investigates the causes and consequences of family change in a global perspective. Behrman’s research has received funding from the National Science Foundation and South African Medical Research Council and her work has received awards from American Sociological Association Sections on Education, Population, and Development; the Society for the Study of Social Problems; the Population Association of America; and the Sociologist AIDS Network. Prior to starting at Northwestern, she was a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Sociology at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. She received her PhD from New York University in 2017.
Strategic Marketing and Sustainability Manager, BASFPlastics, Plastics, Everywhere (Thursday, 3:30pm)
Dr. Mohamed Bouguettaya is currently the Strategic Marketing and the Sustainability manager for BASF corporation/Performance Materials Division in north America. He is responsible for coordinating strategic corporate initiatives and cross industry activities dealing with CE as well as carbon management and end-of life solutions. Prior to his current role, Mohamed held positions in R&D and new market development at BASF in the US, Germany and China. Outside of his responsibilities at BASF, Mohamed is currently a member of the REMADE institute governance board and is chairing the center for Polyurethane industry (CPI) sustainability committee. Mohamed has a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of la Sorbonne /Paris XIII in France.
Dr. Wil Burns is an adjunct professor with Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability (MSES) Program and the Program in Environmental Policy and Culture. Prior to 2021, Burns was a Professor of Research and Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. He is also a Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.
Visiting Professor of Environmental Policy and Culture, ISEN, Northwestern UniversityBeyond Neutrality: Jumpstarting the Carbon Negative Economy (Thursday, 3:30pm)
Bonnie is retired from a career as a teacher and mental health therapist. She was active in her husband’s two campaigns for U.S. Congress (one successful and one not!). That experience has reinforced her preference for the nonpartisan education and advocacy work of the League of Women Voters (LWV) over partisan electoral politics. Bonnie was a founding member of her local league chapter (LWV-Jo Daviess County) over 35 years ago and was a founding member of the LWV-Upper Mississippi River Region Interleague Organization in 2015. Bonnie is a past president of the League of Women Voters of Illinois. Bonnie and her husband John reside in Galena, IL. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
Board Member, League of Women Voters in Jo Daviess CountyLessons from Effective Public Engagement for Climate Action (Thursday, 10:00am)
Professor Dichtel uses the tools of synthetic and supramolecular chemistry to develop structurally precise organic materials. Projects in the Dichtel Group involve organic and polymer chemistry, solution and solid-state characterization, nanofabrication, and the comprehensive testing of newly discovered materials. Current application areas of interest include materials for water purification, energy storage, polymers that are tough yet repairable, the detection of explosives, the rational design of two-dimensional polymers, and the interaction of nanostructured materials with biological systems.
Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Northwestern University PFAS, Emerging Contaminants, and Trace Organics Remediation (Friday, 11:00am)
Jennifer Dunn studies emerging technologies, their energy and environmental impacts, and their potential to influence greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, water consumption, and energy consumption at the economy-wide level. Particular technologies of interest include biofuels and bioproducts, automotive lithium-ion batteries, waste plastics recycling and utilization, advanced manufacturing, and fuels and chemicals made from natural gas liquids. Techno-economic, life cycle, and material flow analyses are primary tools in her research. Furthermore, she applies machine learning techniques to gain insights into land use and land use change, which drive the sustainability debate surrounding biofuels. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan where she was introduced to life cycle analysis through earning her Master’s degree in Sustainable Chemical Engineering Systems. Her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering is from Purdue University. Prior to joining Northwestern, she led the Biofuels Analysis group at Argonne National Laboratory.
Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University; Director, Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience; Associate Director, Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering, Northwestern University Critical Minerals for the Clean Energy Economy (Friday, 1:30pm)
Diana Elhard is a PhD Candidate in the Political Science Department of the Northwestern Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Her subfields are international relations and methods. Diana is broadly interested in global environmental politics, international organizations and qualitative methods. Her dissertation work focuses on the governance of international climate finance within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Within the UNFCCC, she is specifically focused on the work of the operating entities of the financial mechanism (the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility), the Standing Committee of finance, and the ad-how work programme on the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG). At COP27 she attended the 4th Technical Expert Dialogue on the NCQG and followed Convention (COP) and Paris Agreement (CMA) negotiations on items related to climate finance.
PhD Student, Dept. of Political Science, Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern Perspectives from COP27 (Thursday, 11:00am)
Amy Falls serves as Northwestern University’s vice president and chief investment officer. Falls oversees Northwestern’s investment portfolio, which supports undergraduate and graduate financial aid, institutes and centers, faculty positions and department chairs, research and athletics. A former partner at Morgan Stanley, she is a board member of the Ford Foundation and the Harvard Management Company, which manages the endowment of Harvard University. Falls also is the first woman president of the board of trustees at Phillips Academy Andover.
Vice President & Chief Investment Officer, Northwestern UniversityPut Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: ESG, Divestment, and Fiduciary Responsibility (Thursday, 1:30pm)
Professor Farha’s research seeks to solve exciting problems in chemistry and materials science ranging from energy and environment related applications to challenges in national defense by employing atomically precise functional materials. By exploiting the modular nature of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and porous organic polymers (POPs), we work to fundamentally understand the role of three-dimensional architecture in modifying a material’s function for applications in gas storage and separation, catalysis, water remediation and detoxification of chemical warfare agent simulants.
Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Northwestern UniversityWater Security and Management (Friday, 3:30pm)
Tracy has 20 years of experience developing, leading and overseeing global conservation and sustainable development initiatives and programmes. She has a PhD from Virginia Tech in Forestry with additional technical and policy experience in freshwater and ecosystem services, protected areas, biodiversity conservation, and conservation finance.For the last 16 years, she has been working for Conservation International, where she designed and oversaw CI’s first global freshwater and ecosystem services programme, led the Greater Mekong programme from CI’s regional office based in Cambodia, and designed and implemented CI’s Asia-Pacific conservation and fundraising strategy.
Director - North American Region, International Union for Conservation of NatureEnvisioning Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (Thursday, 2:30pm)
Angel Gebeau is a Senior Drinking Water Engineer with AECOM. She lives in central Wisconsin. She’s worked for AECOM over 20 years and does drinking water treatment work both domestically and aboard. Her work focus has been on groundwater with a crossing between remediation and drinking water end use. She serves on the AECOM PFAS workgroup and has been engaged in the PFAS discussion, especially for the Great Lakes region where she is currently designing multiple treatment systems.
Senior Drinking Water Engineer, AECOMPFAS, Emerging Contaminants, and Trace Organics Remediation (Friday, 11:00am)
Sossina M. Haile is a Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor of Applied Physics. Her overall research goal is to elucidate the relationship between structure and electrical behavior in electrochemically active solids, as a key step towards designing materials with exceptional properties and applicability in sustainable energy technologies.
Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern UniversityThe Evolving Hydrogen Economy (Friday, 2:30pm)
JT Haines, JD MPP (WCAS '96) is the Northeastern Minnesota Director for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. Founded in 1974, MCEA uses law and science to protect Minnesota’s environment, its natural resources, and the health of its people. JT lives and works in Duluth, where he focuses largely on mining issues, including recently, the intersection between mining and renewable energy issues. He holds a JD from the University of Virginia, MPP University of Minnesota, and BA from Northwestern University.
Northeastern Minnesota Director, Minnesota Center for Environmental AdvocacyCritical Minerals for the Clean Energy Economy (Friday, 1:30pm)
Professor Hammond is a professor of computer science and journalism at Northwestern University. Previously, he founded the University of Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research has been primarily focused on artificial intelligence, machine-generated content, and context-driven information systems. Hammond previously sat on a United Nations policy committee run by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
Bill and Cathy Osborn Professor of Computer Science, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern UniversityPromise or Fallacy: The Future of Autonomous Mobility (Thursday, 10:00am)
Professor Horton leads the Climate Change Research Group (CCRG) at Northwestern University. The CCRG uses numerical models, environmental observations, statistical analyses, and machine learning techniques to ask questions pertinent to Earth’s (and other planets’) climates. The CCRG studies an array of subjects across diverse spatiotemporal scales, including (i) extreme weather events, (ii) near-term meteorological, societal, and public health impacts of anthropogenic climate change, (iii) the co-benefits and tradeoffs of green infrastructure and transportation initiatives, (iv) the evolution of Earth’s climate system through geologic time, and (v) the potential habitability of planets outside of our solar system.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern UniversityClimate Modeling and Public Health (Friday, 10:00am)
Ian Hurd is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University. His research on international law and politics combines contemporary global affairs with attention to the conceptual frames that serve to make sense of the world. He has been chair of the International Organization section at ISA and a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, WZB-Berlin, Sciences Po in Paris, and elsewhere. He is a frequent contributor to media on current events and his commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, and other outlets. He is currently writing a biography of the idea of the liberal world order.
Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Northwestern University Hot Potato - Who Holds the Climate Liability Bag? (Friday, 11:00am)
Julia Ann Kalow is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. She is primarily a synthetic chemist, who works on polymers, photochemistry and tissue engineering. She is interested in synthetic strategies that can turn molecular structure and chemical reactivity into macroscopic properties. She has been awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Thieme Award and was selected by the University of Chicago as a Rising Star in Chemistry.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Northwestern UniversityPlastics, Plastics, Everywhere (Thursday, 3:30pm)
Research Professor, Dept. of Neurobiology; Director, Science in Society, Northwestern UniversityLessons from Effective Engagement for Climate Action (Thursday, 10:00am)
Michael Kennedy is a research professor of Neurobiology at Northwestern University and the founding director of Science in Society, the university’s research center for science education and public engagement. The center partners with urban K-12 teachers, administrators, and youth development agencies to create high-quality, long-term, impactful science learning opportunities for underserved youth. Early in his academic career, Kennedy recognized a need for the University research mission to more deeply connect with the community, including training its scientists in public communication and community engagement. Beginning in 2015, Kennedy’s team is working with Chicago Public Schools to test a new, practicum-based, NGSS-aligned training program for third-grade teachers. Science Club Summer Camp uses an immersive, deeply-supported, long-term approach to science teaching and learning. Led by master teachers from CPS and Northwestern scientists, elementary teachers build understanding of the nature of science and confidence in using NGSS-aligned instructional strategies. His previous positions at Northwestern include associate chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, director of education and outreach for the Center for Genetic Medicine, and, most recently, chief of staff at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Kennedy has a BS in chemistry from St. John’s University and a PhD in biochemistry from the Mayo Clinic.
Abel Kho received his MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed a residency and Chief residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He completed a NLM/NIH fellowship in Medical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute before joining the faculty at Northwestern University. Abel is Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Founding Director of the Center for Health Information Partnerships and the Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine. He has served as PI for several regional or national projects including the ONC funded Chicago Health IT Regional Extension Center, the PCORI funded Chicago Area Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network, and the AHRQ funded Health Hearts in the Heartland consortium within the EvidenceNOW initiative.
Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine; Director, Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine, Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern UniversityClimate Modeling and Public Health (Friday, 10:00am)
Michael is a pioneer in Synthetic Biology of carbon fixing microbes, with more than 15 years of experience in biotech and over 50 publications and 200 patents. Michael led several seminal studies, including providing a first genetic blueprint of anaerobic gas fermenting microbes and demonstration that these microbes can be reprogrammed for carbon-negative biomanufacturing of fuel and chemical products directly from CO2, industrial emissions, or municipal solid waste. As VP Synthetic Biology at LanzaTech, Michael is responsible for LanzaTech’s genetic engineering platform and strain development program as well as several R&D collaborations with both industrial and academic partners. Additionally, Michael serves as Adjunct Faculty at Northwestern University, Council Member of the Engineering Biology Research Council (EBRC), and in several scientific advisory roles. Michael is chair of the EBRC roadmapping working group, co-chaired several international meetings including the Biochemical Molecular Engineering XXII, and serves in the editorial board of Frontiers Microbiology. Michael holds a Ph.D. from University of Ulm and is one of the awardees of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award for Greener Synthetic Pathways by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Chemical Society (ACS).
VP Synthetic Biology, LanzaTech; Adjunct Faculty, Northwestern UniversitySynthetic Biology and Circular BioEconomy (Thursday, 11:00am)
Gabrielle Levy is associate director of communications on the Campaigns and Strategies team. She joined Climate Nexus after eight years as a reporter covering politics and policy in Washington, D.C., including Congress, the White House and two presidential elections, most recently for U.S. News and World Report. As a reporter at United Press International, she was instrumental in developing digital and social media strategies to bring a legacy organization into the digital age. During a half-year residency with Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Gabrielle reported on government corruption, human rights abuses and the impact of natural disasters on the substance farming community. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in English and music from Tufts University. She is an avid singer and is a member of several choirs.
Gabrielle Levy (Medill '11)
Associate Director, Communications, Climate NexusThe Evolving Hydrogen Economy (Friday, 2:30pm)
Di-Jia (DJ) Liu is a Senior Chemist at CSE. He joined Argonne National Laboratory in 2002 after 12 year R&D at Honeywell International where he last served as Senior Principal Scientist. His current interests at Argonne cover mainly in nanomaterials for fuel cells, electrocatalysis for water splitting, CO2-to-chemical/fuel conversion, hydrogen/methane storage, lithium-air battery, catalytic reforming for H2 production, advanced x-ray characterization techniques, energy-water research, etc. At Honeywell, he led various projects in fuel cells, automotive emission control catalysis, aviation environmental control system, advanced material characterization and industrial Six-Sigma process improvement. Dr. Liu is a Senior Scientist at Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering of University of Chicago and a Graduate Faculty Scholar at Northern Illinois University. He also serves as the operating agent on behalf of USDOE in coordinating Annex 31 (fuel cell materials) activities in Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells (AFC TCP) under the International Energy Agency. He is a member of American Chemical Society, Electrochemical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Liu has over 100 scientific publications including five in Science and Nature family, 30 granted U.S. patents and numerous patent applications and international patents ranging from PEM and solid oxide fuel cells, electrocatalysis for CO2 conversion and water splitting, environmental catalysis, hydrogen production/storage, to sensors. He received Argonne’s Pacesetter Award, IMPACT Argonne Award, DOE Office of Sciences Outstanding Mentor Award, DOE Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence Team Award and four R&D 100 Awards (2016, 2019, 2020, 2022). At Honeywell, he was recognized by Corporate Technical Achievement Award in 1998 and 2000 USA Today Quality Cup among many other recognitions.
Senior Chemist, Argonne National LaboratoryThe Evolving Hydrogen Economy (Friday, 2:30pm)
Stacy Mahler is Head of Sustainability for Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) in the US and is responsible for supporting customers on their sustainability journey through infrastructure enhancements that improve energy efficiency, integrate renewable energy, and enable electrification. She also manages the carbon reduction roadmap for Siemens' SI footprint in the US in alignment with their global sustainability goals and commitments. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida, an MBA from Northwestern University, and has over 15 years of experience in the industrial and energy sectors. Stacy lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children.
Head of Sustainability (US) - Smart Infrastructure, SiemensEnvisioning Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure (Thursday, 2:30pm)
Raed Mansour is the Director for the Office of Innovation at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). As part of senior management at CDPH, he led their award-winning first Office of Innovation, using a health equity lens to be a catalyst for innovation and create long-lasting transformational improvements in public health. He works on building capacity through unique collaborations with communities, nonprofits, businesses, academia, and government for CDPH’s public health initiatives in urban and data science, informatics, app development, and program improvements. Raed was also detailed as the Public Health Technology Group Supervisor for the Health and Medical Branch of the Operations Section during the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 sustained response. Raed earned a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University in Neurobiology and Animal Physiology, while working as a student researcher in genetic engineering at the Laboratories of Renewable Resources Engineering. Additionally, he has a Master of Science in Health Communication from Boston University where he also taught for five years, and a Certificate in Predictive Analytics from DePaul University. He is an active member of the American Public Health Association, Sigma Xi scientific research honor society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Director of Environmental Innovation, Chicago Department of Public HealthClimate Modeling and Public Health (Friday, 10:00am)
As Sphera’s founding CEO and president, Paul Marushka is responsible for providing overall strategic leadership for the company in developing, directing and implementing go-to-market, service, product and operational plans. Paul has grown businesses by bringing innovative solutions to market in leveraging software, analytics and technology services. Prior to joining Sphera, Paul served as president of Marsh ClearSight, a business unit of Marsh & McLennan, which is a leading provider of software, services and analytics for enterprise risk management, safety and compliance management and claims administration. Paul also has held executive positions at software and data companies such as Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) and CCC Information Services. During his career, Paul has developed and launched a variety of software and analytics products recognized by the Gartner Group for their impact on the industry. He has authored numerous articles in publications, including the United Nations Global Yearbook, on the use of analytics and technology in decision-making. He has spoken in a variety of forums including the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Gartner Technology Summit, the Environmental Leader Conference and the Risk and Insurance Management Society. At the Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference (ELEMCON), Paul was recognized as an Environmental Leader for breaking new ground in creating new solutions, programs, platforms and products to help companies achieve greater success in environmental management. He was also awarded an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Midwest Award for his dedication and leadership. Paul has a JD from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an AB from the College at the University of Chicago. Paul is a board member of the Hyde Park Institute at the University of Chicago, which sponsors research and programs that advance the study and teaching of moral philosophical thinking with a focus on integrating intellectual, professional and moral development. In his free time, Paul enjoys traveling with his family, and especially finding locations at which to race ATVs.
CEO and President, SpheraOpening Plenary (Friday, 9:00am)
Michael's role at The Block encompasses curation of media art in the galleries and in the Block’s auditorium. He directs Block Cinema, a film series that showcases contemporary global cinema and revival screenings, often featuring in-person discussions and collaborations across campus. Across curation, writing, and teaching, he seeks to generate knowledge, experience, and community through the moving image. He is always eager to partner with students and faculty on film programs, guest filmmaker visits, class screenings, and curriculum development.
Pick-Laudati Curator of Media Arts, The Block Museum, Northwestern UniversityLessons from Effective Public Engagement for Climate Action (Thursday, 10:00am)
Allison Miller is a Principal Investigator and Member at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri and a Professor in the Department of Biology at Saint Louis University. She is a Research Associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Since September 2021 she has served as the Director for the New Roots for Restoration Biology Integration Institute, a five-year, $12.5 million initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. Allison’s research program focuses on understanding evolution and plasticity in perennial (long-lived) crops and emerging perennial herbaceous crop candidate species. The long-term goals of her work are to improve existing perennial crops and to develop new ones to support sustainable agricultural systems. Ongoing projects focus on grapevines, perennial, herbaceous grasses, legumes, and sunflower relatives. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Allison became passionate about plants through trips to nearby prairie patches and summer vacations in northern Wisconsin. She earned BS and MS degrees in Botany from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and Colorado State University respectively, and holds a PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Population Biology from Washington University in St. Louis through a joint program with the Missouri Botanical Garden. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado Museum. Allison lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and two children.
Principal Investigator and Member, Danforth Plant Science Center; Professor, Dept. of Biology, Saint Louis UniversityRegenerative Agriculture and Climate (Thursday, 2:30pm)
Third-year Student, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern Perspective from COP27 (Thursday, 11:00am)
Taylor Nchako is a third-year student at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where she pursues environmental and climate justice. Taylor’s legal research focuses on public accountability for forestry policy in Cameroon. Her research proposes a civil right of action in an African regional court and calls on the international community to help build capacity in that court. Taylor is also the Online Editor-in-Chief of Northwestern University Law Review. Next semester, NULR Online will publish its inaugural Online Essay Series, "Climate Change and Infrastructure: Existential Threats to Our Built Environment." At COP27, Taylor explored these themes in sessions geared towards climate finance, community-led solutions, and infrastructure.
Erik C. Nisbet (Ph.D., Cornell University) is the Owen L. Coon Endowed Professor of Policy Analysis & Communication and director of the Center for Communication & Public Policy in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. His research lies at the intersection of media, public opinion, and public policy in the areas of science, technology, and environmental policy, democracy and elections, and international security. An expert on cross-national survey methodology and field experiments, Erik has led research projects in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Iran, France, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, and several Arab countries. His research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the U.S. Department of States.
Owen L. Coon Endowed Professor of Policy Analysis and Communication, Dept. of Communication Studies, Northwestern UniversityScience Communication, Misinformation, and Climate (Friday, 2:30pm)
Hari M. Osofsky is dean and Myra and James Bradwell Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and Professor of Environmental Policy and Culture (courtesy) at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. As dean, she is deeply committed to building legal education for a changing society through inclusive collaboration. Her leadership focuses on preparing students to lead in our changing society and profession; advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and social and racial justice; learning from the COVID-19 pivots; and innovating through interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, and international partnerships. She also is very involved in mentorship and sponsorship to support greater diversity in law school and university leadership. The American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center recognized her as one of the 2019 Women of Legal-Tech. Dean Osofsky’s over 50 publications focus on improving governance and addressing injustice in energy and climate change regulation. Her scholarship includes books with Cambridge University Press on climate change litigation, textbooks on both energy and climate change law, and articles in leading law and geography journals. Dean Osofsky’s Emory Law Journal article, Energy Partisanship, was awarded the 2018 Morrison Prize, which recognizes the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic article published in North America during the previous year. Dean Osofsky has collaborated extensively with business, government, and nonprofit leaders to make bipartisan progress on these issues through her leadership roles and teaching. She is a fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Her professional leadership roles have included, among others, serving as president of the Association for Law, Property, and Society and as a member of the Dean’s Steering Committee of the American Association of Law Schools, Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles of Climate Change, Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, and editorial board of Climate Law. Her leadership and mentorship work was recognized by the Association for Law, Property, and Society’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award and the University of Minnesota 2015 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award. Dean Osofsky received a PhD in geography from the University of Oregon and a JD from Yale Law School. She clerked for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining Northwestern University, Dean Osofsky served as dean of Penn State Law and the Penn State School of International Affairs and on the faculties of University of Minnesota Law School, Washington and Lee University School of Law, the University of Oregon School of Law, and Whittier Law School.
Hari M. Osofsky
Dean and Myra and James Bradwell Professor of Law, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern UniversityOpening Plenary & Dean Fireside (Friday, 9:00am)
Ugi Otgonbaatar is a Director, Technology Strategy, Grants & Partnerships at Constellation. Since joining the company in 2016, Ugi has been working for Constellation’s (formerly Exelon) corporate R&D Partnership program focusing on early stage energy technologies including clean hydrogen generation, energy storage, and technologies for repurposing the existing nuclear fleet. Ugi holds B.S and Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT with research experience in thermal hydraulics, computational materials science and has previously worked for the R&D groups of Electricité de France, General Electric and Tokyo Electric Power company.
Director, Technology Strategy, Grants & Partnerships, ConstellationThe Evolving Hydrogen Economy: Silver Bullet or Infrastructure Distraction? (Friday, 2:30pm)
Julio M. Ottino is the dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University where he holds the titles of Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor and Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Born in Argentina, he had a career as an artist before he moved to the United States for his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota. He then held a faculty position at UMass/Amherst and held chaired and senior appointments at Caltech, Stanford, and the University of Minnesota. He joined Northwestern in 1991 and was chairman of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering from 1992 to 2000. He was the founder and co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems. As dean he led to a 22 percent renewal of the faculty in three years, launched the Segal Design Institute in 2007, the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2008, and was instrumental in the creation of the Initiative in Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, launched also in 2008. Ottino received many national awards including the Alpha Chi Sigma Award and the William H. Walker from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the Fluid Dynamics Prize from the American Physical Society. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Sigma Xi Lecturer. In 2008 he was selected by the AIChE as one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era.” He has lectured to a range of diverse audiences in topics ranging from the purely technical to creativity and art. Ottino has given numerous named lectureships, including the Lacey Lectures at Caltech, the Corrsin Lecture in Johns Hopkins, the Centennial Lecture in Maryland, the Pirkey Lecture at Texas/Austin, and the Danckwerts Lecture in England. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dean Ottino's interests extend also to the intersection of art, technology, and science. He recently published a book titled The Nexus: Augmented Thinking for a Complex World / The New Convergence of Art, Technology, and Science, with noted designer Bruce Mau, published by MIT Press.
Julio M. Ottino
Dean, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor; Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern UniversityPlenary & Dean Fireside (Thursday, 9:00am)
Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern UniversityPFAS, Emerging Contaminants, and Trace Organics Remediation (Friday, 11:00am)
Professor Packman's research focuses on water, sediments, and microbiota, with particular emphasis on the basic processes that control interfacial dynamics in aquatic systems and the coupling of physical transport processes with biological and biogeochemical processes. He seeks to define critical structure-transport-transformation relationships in dynamic environments such as rivers and surface-attached microbial communities (biofilms). Prof. Packman's work is highly collaborative and encompasses fluid mechanics, particle transport and morphodynamics, aquatic chemistry, and microbiology. Important applications include benthic microbial ecology, nutrient and carbon cycling, contaminant transport and water quality, ecosystem degradation and restoration, waterborne disease transmission, and control of biofilms in human infection and engineered water systems.
Michael Panfil is the Senior Director and Lead Counsel of Climate Risk & Clean Power at Environmental Defense Fund, where he works to advance the development and implementation of efforts designed to reduce climate-destabilizing emissions. Michael engages before energy, environmental, and financial regulators as well as before federal courts across the country to secure durable solutions and sustainable practices. In addition to his work with EDF, Michael serves as Scholar in Residence at American University, Washington College of Law and as Adjunct Professor at Howard University, School of Law. He is also a vice chair of the Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources and a Board Member for the Energy Justice Law & Policy Center.
Senior Director & Lead Counsel of Climate Risk & Clean Power, Environmental Defense FundMajor Questions and the Administrative State: The Future of U.S. Climate Regulation (Friday, 10:00am)
Adrian Randolph is dean of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Art History. He joined Northwestern University on July 1, 2015. Prior to joining Northwestern, Randolph served as the associate dean of the faculty for the Arts and Humanities at Dartmouth College. He also served as chair of the Department of Art History at Dartmouth, as well as director of the college’s Leslie Center for the Humanities. Randolph’s research focuses on the art and architecture of medieval and Renaissance Italy. His scholarship emphasizes the blending of visual analysis with other contextual information, from fields as varied as science, literature, social history and gender studies. Throughout his career, he has successfully forged connections across disciplinary boundaries to build programming, lectures and conferences on topics as diverse as humor and race, Native American art, and science and visualization. Randolph has authored, co-authored or edited eight books and numerous articles, essays and reviews. He also has served on the international advisory board of the journal Art History as well as the University Press of New England. Randolph completed his B.A. at Princeton University, his M.A. at the University of London and his Ph.D. in fine arts and the history of art and architecture at Harvard University.
Dean of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Art History, Northwestern UniversityOpening Plenary & Dean Fireside (Thursday, 4:30pm)
David N. Rapp, the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, is a professor in both the School of Education and Social Policy and the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. He serves as director of undergraduate education for SESP. Rapp’s projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute on Aging. For his work, he has received a McKnight Land-Grant Professor award from the University of Minnesota in 2006, the Tom Trabasso Young Investigator Award from the Society for Text & Discourse in 2010, and is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. He has served as associate editor at the Journal of Educational Psychology and is currently Editor at the journal Discourse Processes.
Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, SESP, Northwestern UniversityScience Communication, Misinformation, and Climate (Friday, 2:30pm)
Annelise Riles is the Executive Director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University, enhancing Northwestern’s reputation for cutting-edge, interdisciplinary programs and research on globally relevant topics. Riles will also be the Associate Provost for Global Affairs and a professor of law and anthropology. Her scholarship spans a wide range of substantive areas including human rights, managing and accommodating cultural differences, and the regulation of the global financial markets. Key areas in legal studies include comparative law, the conflict of laws, financial regulation, socio-legal studies and international law. In anthropology, her work is known for its methodological contributions as well as for its contributions to the study of international institutions and expertise.
Executive Director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies; Associate Provost for Global Affairs; Professor of Law, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern UniversityClimate Migration of People (Friday, 1:30pm)
Rosenzweig is a leader in the fields of bioinorganic chemistry and structural biology. Her laboratory focuses on metalloproteins, which comprise up to 50 percent of all proteins. Rosenzweig’s work has provided seminal insights into how metalloenzymes catalyze complex and difficult chemical transformations and how cells acquire and distribute essential yet toxic metal ions. Her numerous honors include being elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2014) and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007). Rosenzweig was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2003. Rosenzweig received the Royal Society of Chemistry Joseph Chatt Award (2014), the American Chemical Society Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education (2006) and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Amherst College (2005). She is currently on the editorial boards of the journals Science and Biochemistry.
Weinberg Family Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry with Molecular Bioscience, Northwestern UniversitySynthetic Biology and Circular BioEconomy (Thursday, 11:00am)
Professor Rotta Loria works at the intersection of geomechanics, energy, and environmental sustainability. In this context, he develops with his group theoretical and experimental investigations to understand, characterize, and predict the impact of energy transfers on the structure, properties, and behavior of geological materials: soils, rocks, concrete, and systems thereof. This work aims to unravel how structural modifications caused by perturbations that include thermal and electric fields affect the capability of geological materials to sustain mechanical forcing, to transfer heat, or to allow fluids permeation, from depths of meters to kilometers. Rotta Loria's overarching goal is to understand geological materials at their most fundamental – structural – level and to investigate the essential features of their properties and behavior (e.g., thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical).
Alessandro Rotta Loria
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern UniversityEnvisioning Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure (Thursday, 2:30pm)
Before joining the Energy and Minerals Mission Area, Sarah served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water & Science/Acting Counselor for Water & Science in the Department of the Interior (DOI). In addition to previously holding the position of Deputy AD for Climate and Land Use Change from September 2011 to January 2016, Sarah has extensive prior experience with the USGS as a researcher from 1989 to 2002. Sarah’s additional professional experience includes acting as the Director of the Office of North Africa and Arabian Affairs/Middle East Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and roles with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Council on Environmental Quality.
Associate Director for Energy and Minerals, U.S. Geological SurveyCritical Minerals for the Clean Energy Economy (Friday, 1:30pm)
Prof. Sageman's research is grounded in stratigraphy, in particular the relationship between rocks and time. Much of his effort has been directed at development of high-resolution time scales for ancient stratigraphic sequences through the application of cyclostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic techniques. The driving motivation for improved time scales builds from his other main research interest, understanding the processes controlling burial of carbon in ancient sediments and the relationships between changes in the global carbon cycle and ocean-climate interactions. A particular emphasis of his work has been Phanerozoic ocean anoxic events and he has devoted most of his career to study of the Western Interior basin of North America.
ISEN Co-Director, MSES Academic Director; Professor, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern UniversityOpening Plenary & Dean Fireside (Thursday, 4:30pm)
Ted Sargent received a B.Sc.Eng. (Engineering Physics) from Queen's University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Photonics) from the University of Toronto in 1998. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Toronto in 1998. Sargent was then appointed Associate Professor in 2002 and afterwards earned the appointment of Full Professor in 2005. He served as Associate Chair in Research for the Faculty of Applied Science from 2009-2012 and then served as Vice-Dean in Research for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering from 2012-2016. He left Toronto as Vice President-International of Research and Innovation in 2020.
Professor, Dept. of Chemistry; Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northwestern UniversityBeyond Neutrality: Jumpstarting the Carbon Negative Economy (Thursday, 3:30pm)
Niloufar (Nilou) Sarvian is a PhD candidate in the Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) department studying paleoclimate. Originally from Los Angeles, she graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Chemistry and is now finishing up her doctoral research studying Earth's past oceans and climate using geochemistry. During her time at NU, she received the ISEN Fellowship and earned a Certificate of Management for Scientists and Engineers from the Kellogg School of Management. She has also participated in various climate and equity groups on campus, such as the NU Climate Tech Club, and co-founded GeoEquity, a diversity and equity initiative in the EPS department. After graduating she will start at Marble, a climate tech accelerator program in Paris, to work in the marine carbon dioxide removal world. Most recently, she attended COP27 as a delegate from Northwestern University, where she interacted with the international carbon dioxide removal community discussing carbon markets, regulation, and the role of carbon removals in our attempt to hold warming at 1.5C.
PhD Candidate, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern Perspectives from COP27 (Thursday, 11:00am)
Max Schanzenbach is the Seigle Family Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his Ph.D. (economics) from Yale University. Schanzenbach joined Northwestern as an assistant professor of law in 2003 after finishing a clerkship on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals with Judge Alan E. Norris and was promoted to full professor in 2006. From 2010 to 2013, Schanzenbach was Director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University. In 2015, he was named the Seigle Family Professor of Law at Northwestern University. From 2011 to 2016 Schanzenbach was the co-editor-in-chief of the American Law and Economics Review.
Seigle Family Professor of Law, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern UniversityPut Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: ESG, Divestment, and Fiduciary Responsibility (Thursday, 1:30pm)
Sam Schiller is the Co-Founder and CEO of Carbon Yield, where he has utilized his deep experience in carbon markets and agricultural communities to better align farm profitability with carbon storage in healthy soils. His entrepreneurial work in environmental markets has generated over 2 million tons of carbon credits and earned him the Kellogg Zell Fellowship, first prize at the 2019 Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, and recognition in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas series. Sam helped launch and scale two related environmental startups - Wabashco and Tradewater - which focus on carbon offset development through the destruction of CFC refrigerants and methane emitting from abandoned coal mines. In 2019, Sam founded Carbon Yield to advance carbon sequestration in agricultural landscapes. Carbon Yield works with more than 100,000 acres of croplands to help them access the resources required to transition to regenerative agriculture. Carbon Yield also serves as the Agricultural Lead of Climate TRACE, where Sam directs philanthropic dollars to advance innovations in emissions monitoring in agriculture. In this role, Sam has presented to the UN Environmental Programme and collaborates directly with former Vice President Al Gore and eight other climate institutions to publicly track emissions from across sectors. Sam served for over a decade in board leadership, including as Board Chair, of the Delta Institute, a nonprofit with deep experience in environmental markets, regenerative agriculture, and conservation finance. Sam graduated with a degree in social policy and environmental policy from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
Co-Founder and CEO, Carbon YieldBeyond Neutrality: Jumpstarting the Carbon Negative Economy (Thursday, 3:30pm)
Randall Q. Snurr is a John G. Searle Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research focuses on adsorption, diffusion, and catalysis in nanoporous materials. His research team is interested in novel materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), as well as traditional materials such as zeolites that are already widely used in industry. Most of the projects in the group are aimed at solving problems related to energy or the environment. Examples include development of materials to store hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles, development of materials for capturing carbon dioxide from power plant flue gas (carbon capture and sequestration), development of energy-efficient separations, and development of highly selective catalysts for green chemistry processes.
Chair & John G. Searle Professor, Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern UniversityThe Evolving Hydrogen Economy: Silver Bullet or Infrastructure Distraction? (Friday, 2:30pm)
Juliet Sorensen's teaching and research interests include international criminal law, corruption, and health and human rights. Professor Sorensen is a founder of the Northwestern Access to Health Project, an interdisciplinary partnership that analyzes access to health in resource limited settings. Professor Sorensen received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Master's in Public Health Program in 2014. She is the Editor in Chief of Eyes on the ICC, a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of the International Criminal Court. In 2010, Professor Sorensen was appointed to the American Bar Association's Global Anti-Corruption Task Force. Professor Sorensen serves on the screening committee that assists Senator Durbin in selecting federal district court judges for the Northern District of Illinois.
Clinical Professor of Law & Director of Bluhm Legal Clinic, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern UniversityClimate Migration of People (Friday, 1:30pm)
Amanda Stathopoulos is an associate professor with tenure, and the William Patterson Junior Professor at Northwestern's McCormick school of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is a faculty affiliate of the Transportation center and Spatial Intelligence Learning Center. After finishing her Ph.D., in Transport Economics at the University of Trieste in 2012, she worked as a post-doc in the Transport and Mobility Laboratory at EPFL. In 2014 she joined Northwestern Civil and Environmental engineering department where she started the Mobility and Behavior Lab. Dr. Stathopoulos' research brings attention to the importance of 'human' aspects of sustainable mobility systems—understanding the lifestyles, values and attitudes of decision makers and how they can change to align with sustanaility goals. Her research methods include discrete choice modeling, statistical analyisis, factor analysis, qualitative data collection and focus groups, as well as large scale surveys and operational data. She develops new methodologies to collect data and specify mathematical models of behavior that can account for factors that are not dealt with in economic choice models.
William Patterson Junior Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental EngineeringEnvisioning Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure (Thursday, 2:30pm)
Tim Stojka is a technology CEO and entrepreneur. He has founded and scaled three successful technology companies. Most recently he served as CEO and founder of Agentis Energy based in Chicago, IL before a successful sale and exit in 2021. Agentis is a pioneer and leader in the Smart Grid technology industry providing a SaaS platform for energy data analytics to businesses and utilities. Currently serving over five million business customers in North America in partnership with leading energy providers. In addition, he co-founded and serves on the board of Sertifi Inc., a leading provider of signature and payment technology SaaS platform for the hospitality industry serving over 16,000 hotels in North America. Tim previously served as co-founder and CEO of Commerx™. A pioneer in the development of B2B SaaS and marketplace software for the growing e-commerce market. As CEO Tim was responsible for directing product and and growth strategies of Commerx. Through leadership, Mr. Stojka successfully positioned Commerx as a leading provider of collaborative, Webhosted e-procurement and supply chain solutions. Stojka led three successful capital raises with over $70 million in venture capital and filed for an IPO in January of 2000. In that same year Stojka and Commerx were recognized as early Internet pioneers and were awarded the Smithsonian Technology award for innovation in Washington DC. Mr. Stojka has been featured in a variety of top business publications including Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, Crain’s Chicago Business, and Business 2.0 and is a frequent guest speaker at technology industry conferences. In early 2000, he was named one of 25 “E-Champions” by BtoB magazine and was a top 10 finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mr. Stojka also serves in leadership roles in many business and civic organizations including the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) where he served as Chairman Chicago Chapter, Chief Executives Organization (CEO), The Executives Club of Chicago, The McCormick School of Engineering Board at Northwestern University, 1871 (Technology Incubator), Chicago Next ( Mayor’s Technology Council) Vistage International, the Economic Club of Chicago, Evergreen Climate Innovations , and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Illinois Institute of Technology. Additionally Tim serves on the board of Chief Executives Organization, College of Computing and Illinois Tech, and is the current Chairman of NUVention Energy at Northwestern University. In 2021 Tim gave the commencement address at Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering. Tim and his wife Effie and have three children John, Elena, and Gracie. They reside in Oakbrook IL and Naples FL. He holds a Bachelors of Science Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and has attended both the Stanford Business School and Harvard Business School Executive MBA programs.
Founder, AgentisPlenary & Dean Fireside (Thursday, 9:00am)
Tyler Strom is managing director of the Illinois Agri-Food Alliance (ILAFA) and has been intimately involved with the organization since the development of the FARM Illinois RoadMap in 2014. As a nonprofit systems organization, ILAFA provides a neutral platform for convening stakeholders all across Illinois’ diverse agri-food ecosystem to address complex challenges and chart a collaborative path toward a sustainable, competitive, and innovative future. Prior to his current role, Tyler was a fellow of global agriculture and food at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the leading foreign affairs institution in the Midwest committed to educating the public – and influencing public discourse – on global issues of the day. Tyler’s expertise is in agri-food systems, sustainability science, multi-stakeholder collaborations, and systems thinking. By leveraging his skills in strategy, communications, relationship development, and project design, his ambition is to forge strong alliances with diverse partners to chart a sustainable future for food and agriculture. Tyler serves on the advisory committee for the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education, the Chicago Wilderness Agriculture Committee, and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor’s Equity and Food Insecurity Initiative. He is also a contributor to the American Farmland Trust’s Abundant Future Working Group, the Midwest Climate Collaborative, and the Network for Employer-led Workforce Solutions (NEWS). Tyler is a previous McCloy Fellow and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and earned his BSc in agricultural business and economics from Iowa State University and his MSc in environmental studies and sustainability science from Lund University in Sweden. A fourth-generation farmer, Tyler enjoys operating a diversified direct-to-market specialty crop farm and apiary in his “spare time” in Campton Hills, IL.
Managing Director, Illinois Agri-Food Alliance (ILAFA)Regenerative Agriculture and Climate (Thursday, 2:30pm)
Mark is on loan from Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil to the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and is a Senior Advisor responsible for project sourcing and development in the Americas and leading the global Advanced Recovery and Recycling Thematic Expert Group for the Alliance. Previously, Mark was Vice-President, Chemicals and Refining for ExxonMobil’s affiliate in Saudi Arabia where he managed the interface with the two chemical and one refining joint ventures that ExxonMobil has in Saudi Arabia and with the other venture partners. He was appointed to that position in 2015. Before that, Mark was the Manager, Chemicals for Imperial Oil, located in Calgary, and was responsible for the Chemical business in Canada. He was also the chair of the board of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada in 2015. Mark joined Imperial Oil in 1993 and has held a variety of positions in the Chemical business with Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil. Mark was born and raised in Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration degree from York University (Toronto).
Senior Advisor, Alliance to End Plastic WastePlastics, Plastics, Everywhere (Thursday, 3:30pm)
Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Policy and Culture program at Northwestern University. She is also Faculty Affiliate with the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research and the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. Trained as an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist, Suiseeya specializes in global environmental politics and political ecology. Her book manuscript, The Justice Gap in Global Forest Governance, explores the politics of justice and representation in global forest and climate governance and its impacts on forest dependent communities in Laos. Suiseeya holds a PhD in Environment from Duke University, an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a BA in International Relations/Politics and German Studies from Scripps College. She also has extensive experience as a practitioner, including stints in the Peace Corps, with the Sierra Club and IUCN, and on World Bank-funded projects.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Northwestern UniversityCritical Minerals for the Clean Energy Economy (Friday, 1:30pm)
John Torkelson is a Walter P. Murphy Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. John received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1983. He has been a faculty member at Northwestern since 1983, where he also served as Assistant Department Chair in Chemical Engineering from 1992 to 1995 and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science from 1997 to 2002. During 2003 - 2006, John was the Director of the Materials Research Center at Northwestern University, which receives its main funding from the NSF-Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Program.
Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern UniversityPlastics, Plastics, Everywhere (Thursday, 3:30pm)
After earning her B.S. degree in chemical engineering, Tullman-Ercek began her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin under advisor George Georgiou. After earning her Ph.D. in 2006, Tullman-Ercek began her post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco in the laboratory of Chris Voigt. Her primary project in the Voigt lab was the study of spider silk production and secretion in Salmonella. She also immersed herself in the challenges and potential of the field of synthetic biology. She continued her postdoctoral studies at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, working to improve enzymes that break down biomass for more efficient and economic biofuel production processes. Tullman-Ercek joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2009. Inspired by her previous work, her research group focuses on engineering multi-component systems in biology using tools and techniques from protein engineering and synthetic biology.
Professor, Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern UniversitySynthetic Biology and Circular BioEconomy (Thursday, 11:00am)
Professor Weinstock joined the Northwestern Pritzker Law faculty in 2022 as the Director of the Environmental Advocacy Center and a Clinical Associate Professor of Law, where he now leads in clinical instruction and the management of the EAC’s diverse and cutting-edge advocacy efforts. His substantive areas of interest – and the EAC’s docket – include environmental justice advocacy on behalf of community organizations in Chicago, complex environmental citizen-suit enforcement litigation, and work in state utilities commission proceedings on energy issues, among many other issues. Before coming to Northwestern, Professor Weinstock was an Associate Clinical Professor with the University of Chicago’s Abrams Environmental Law Clinic and practiced complex litigation at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, in New York, and environmental law at Barnes & Thornburg, in Chicago. He also served as a law clerk to The Honorable Victor Marrero on the Southern District of New York.
Director, Environmental Advocacy Center; Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern UniversityMajor Questions and the Administrative State: The Future of U.S. Climate Regulation (Friday, 10:00am)
Charles Whitaker is dean and professor at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Whitaker, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Medill, is the first alumnus of the school to serve as dean. He previously served as the Helen Gurley Brown Professor and associate dean of journalism for the school. Since joining the Medill faculty in 1992, he has taught courses in news writing, magazine writing, magazine editing, and blogging. Whitaker has also taught in Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies and the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute (aka, the Cherub program). Whitaker was one of the rotating directors of Medill’s graduate Magazine Publishing Project, an enterprise in which teams of students developed a new magazine or worked in collaboration with an existing publishing company to reinvigorate the editorial and business approach of an existing magazine. For nine years, Whitaker directed the Academy for Alternative Journalism, a summer fellowship program that trained young writers for work at the member publications of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies in an effort to address the field’s lack of diversity. Before joining the Medill faculty, Whitaker was a senior editor at Ebony magazine, where he covered a wide range of cultural, social, and political issues and events on four continents, including two U.S. presidential campaigns, and the installation of the first black members of the British Parliament. Whitaker began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter at the Miami Herald, where he covered education in Dade County and municipal government in Palm Beach County. From the Herald, he went to the Louisville (Ky.) Times, where he worked as a deputy feature editor and enterprise feature and arts writer. Whitaker has also contributed articles to the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Saturday Evening Post, Chicago Parent magazine, and Folio, the magazine of the magazine industry. In addition, he served as an editorial consultant to CATALYST magazine, a publication dedicated to coverage of the Chicago Public Schools, and as president of the editorial board of the Chicago Reporter, an acclaimed investigative publication that covers issues of race and class. He currently serves on the board of directors for numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Center for Public Integrity. He also serves on the advisory boards for the Prison Journalism Project, The Evanston RoundTable, and Block Club Chicago. Whitaker is the co-author of "Magazine Writing," a textbook that examines the magazine industry and deconstructs the art of feature writing for consumer and business-to-business publications, and co-editor of “Curating Culture,” a textbook that examines 20th century magazines as niche-factories. He also is the author of four statistical analyses of the hiring of women and minorities in the magazine industry and has served as an adviser on diversity issues for the Magazine Publishers of America. He was the co-director of Project Masthead, a program designed to encourage students of color to consider careers in magazines on both the editorial and business side of the industry, and he was one of the co-curators of the Ida B. Wells Award, presented by both Medill and the National Association of Black Journalists to individuals who are working to increase newsroom diversity and improve the coverage of communities of color. Whitaker has received commendations for his work from a number of journalism societies, including the National Association of Black Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Education Writers Association, and has served as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and the International Regional Magazine Awards Association.
Dean & Deering McCormick Distinguished Clinical Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Communications, Northwestern UniversityWelcome & Dean Fireside (Friday, 12:00pm)
Professor Aaron Yoon is interested in how to account for a firm's Environment Social Governance (ESG) efforts and integrate the information into portfolio decision making process. According to the Financial Times, his research on ESG was a turning point on how investors viewed and integrated ESG information and the methodologies suggested in his works have been widely implemented by asset managers. His work has been cited in Bloomberg, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He also received multiple awards for his research and teaching, including the Best 40 Under 40 Professors Recognition from Poets & Quants, Crowell Prize for Best Paper in Quantitative Investing from PanAgora Asset Management, Chair's Core Teaching Award from Kellogg, and the Best Dissertation Award from the American Accounting Association. Professor Yoon earned his Doctorate from Harvard University and his master’s and bachelor’s from Northwestern University. Prior to academia, he worked as an equities salestrader and research analyst at Credit Suisse.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Accounting Information & Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern UniversityPut Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: ESG, Divestment, and Fiduciary Responsibility (Thursday, 1:30pm)
Nyree Zerega is a professor of instruction and director of the Graduate Program in Plant Biology and Conservation, a collaboration between Northwestern and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Her lab explores the evolution, genetic diversity, origins and pollination biology of plants. Her research uses phylogenomic, collections-based, and experimental field approaches to explore the evolution and genetic diversity of underutilized crops and their wild relatives, pollination, biogeography, and taxonomic revisionary work. She is also interested in applying findings to conservation of plant genomic resources and more sustainable agriculture.
Instructor & Director, Graduate Program in Plant Biology & Conservation, Northwestern University; Chicago Botanic GardenRegenerative Agriculture and Climate (Friday, 2:30pm)
Professor Zhu's research interests include design automation for intelligent cyber-physical systems (CPS) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, cyber-physical security, safe and robust machine learning for CPS/IoT, energy-efficient CPS, and system-on-chip design. Recent work in his lab group has been focusing on system-level synthesis, optimization, verification, and modeling methodologies for intelligent cyber-physical systems. His group is particularly interested in addressing safety, security, adaptability, resiliency, and energy challenges in learning-enabled CPS design and operation. Zhu works on applications in the domains of connected and autonomous vehicles, smart buildings and infrastructures, and IoT.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northwestern UniversityPromise or Fallacy: The Future of Autonomous Mobility (Thursday, 3:30pm)