Alumni Profiles

Read about some of our nearly 800 ESP program alumni.

Gabe Cowles

Gabe Cowles, (MPA ESP ’09) is the program manager for Build Smart NY, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to improve energy efficiency in state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. Recognized as a 40 Under 40 Rising Star on the Albany 2016 list, Cowles achieved a quarter of the energy program’s goal in the first year. 


kline croppedFor Rebecca Kline, a 2008 alumna of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, making a difference in her community involves changing the way local community members eat and think about food. (NY Times, November 6, 2014)
ashley toombsAshley Toombs (MPA-ESP ’15), recently joined BRAC USA, serving as a senior program associate. BRAC is a poverty alleviation and international development organization that was founded in the 1970s in Bangladesh and has since expanded operations to 12 countries in Asia and Africa, with affiliate offices in the U.S., UK, and Netherlands.
josh garretJosh Garrett (MPA-ESP ’12), serves as the Director of Communications for Equitable Origin, a firm based in New York. Through his work with Equitable Origin (or EO), Josh works to educate people about how to transform the oil industry for a safer, cleaner future.
annlynAnnlyn McPhie, (MPA-ESP ’13), is applying her scientific knowledge and management skills to managing Marine Protected Areas in her native Grenada. Annlyn is working to shape the future leaders of Grenada into environmentally conscious citizens through education and outreach programs.
OB_Chiller1Olin Berger (MPA-ESP ’14) was chosen as a member of the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps in Chicago, Illinois. Olin is working to analyze energy efficiency projects for high rise office buildings in downtown Chicago.
alison miller croppedAlison Miller (MPA-ESP ’11), was recently named one of 2014 City & State’s top 40 under 40 Rising Stars. The media company, devoted to covering New York politics and policies, nominates 40 exceptional individuals each year who are leaving their mark on New York City.
sheng croppedIn his role as an Economic Analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund, Sheng Yan (MPA-ESP ’13) is able to combine his scientific knowledge and management skills to create long-term change in his native China.
katie edmond croppedThrough her role as a Parks Analyst with the New York City Department Parks and Recreation, Katie Edmond (MPA-ESP ’14) is working toward a greener future for New Yorkers in high-need communities.
mahamMPA in Environmental Science and Policy alum Maham Ahmed (’13) combined her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science with MPA in Environmental Science and Policy while serving as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, D.C. Maham hopes to bring change to disaster response and recovery for future generations.
toddMPA in Environmental Science and Policy alumnus Todd Miner (’11) has significant experience in post-conflict and disaster areas, both abroad and in the United States. He puts the management and planning skills he acquired from the program to good use in his current role as director of Friends of Rockaway, an organization working to restore the Rockaway Peninsula in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
rsz_haydeeMPA in Environmental Science and Policy alum Haydée Rodríguez (’12) has always wanted to work in environmental law. Having started the program with a law degree and prior work experience as a program associate for the Fresh Water Action Network in Costa Rica, Haydée’s current job as an environmental advisor for the Inter-American Association for Environmental Defense is a perfect fit for her professional goals.
James-Vener-600x337MPA in Environmental Science and Policy alumnus James Vener (’07) has applied the policymaking skills he obtained through the program to positions at the United Nations Environment Programme’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP-DTIE) Energy Finance Unit in France and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bureau of Development Policy’s Environment and Energy Group in New York.
rsz_claireMPA in Environmental Science and Policy alum Claire VanZuiden (’13) develops strategies to grow and finance green companies and to help clients commercialize technologies to improve air quality, reduce waste and reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Claire applies the system-based thinking and hard science background that she learned in the ESP program on a daily basis to resolve environmental, energy, and development issues.