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Melissa Brown Goodall, Director. Melissa is the Senior Director of the Environmental Innovations Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. Formed in 2020, the Environmental Innovations Initiative is a pan-university program intended to meaningfully impact the critical environmental challenges of our time, particularly climate change, biodiversity loss, and human vulnerability. Before joining Penn in 2021, Melissa was at Yale University – first with the School of the Environment, then with the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and finally with the Office of Sustainability.

Profile photoNatalia Escobar-Pemberthy, Program Manager, Yale Office of Sustainability Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy is a Sustainability Fellow at Yale University. She works on the organization of the Global Climate University Forum and other projects related to sustainable development and is an alumna of the 2012 and 2015 meetings of the Global Climate University Forum. She is also part of other research projects on environmental governance and the implementation of international environmental law.


Scot Bearss, Outreach Manager, Yale Office of Sustainability  Scot has been at Yale since 2015 when he began his degree program at the Divinity School. Since then he has held a number of positions at Yale but found his passion led him to a career in sustainability. He is in charge of visibility for the Office of Sustainability, including digital outreach, communications with champions across the University, developing action plans, and planning large-scale events.


ashley jankowskiAshley Jankowski, Sustainability Fellow, Yale Office of Sustainability Ashley oversees the implementation of 14 Sustainability Action Plans at each of Yale’s residential colleges and guides the projects and initiatives of each college’s Sustainability Liaison. Ashley manages Bulldog Sustainability, a student-athlete team that engages Yale’s varsity and club athletes around sustainable behavior change within Yale Athletics.


Nivanthi Karunaratne, Program Manager, Yale Office of Sustainability Nivanthi oversees student Fellows at each of Yale’s 11 Professional Schools, developing cross-campus collaborations between students and staff to ensure progress towards Yale’s Sustainability Plan 2025. Her responsibilities include event programming, increasing the visibility of the Office’s efforts, and improving sustainability literacy throughout Yale.


Steering Committee

The Global Climate University Forum is led by a globally representative Steering Committee of experts and scholars. The Committee provides advice on key decisions, support and guidance to the Forum organizers to ensure that the program is robust and balanced.

Profile PhotoMaria del Coro Arizmendi Arriaga, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (Mexico). Coro currently serves as Coordinator of the UNAM's Coordination for Sustainability. Her areas of research focus on the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation of birds, which she has cultivated for more than 30 years. Likewise, throughout her career she has developed lines of research with numerous scientific products, without prejudice to a very outstanding and constant participation in the dissemination of science and culture. Her academic and scientific work has been the object of awards and distinctions in different instances, among which those awarded by the Organization for Tropical Studies, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the National Committee of the Initiative for the Conservation of Birds in North America, CONACyT and SNI. She graduated as a Biologist from the Faculty of Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her postgraduate studies were carried out at the Ecology Center also at UNAM, within the program then called Doctorate in Ecology, taught as part of the Academic Unit of Professional and Postgraduate Cycles of the CCH. Thanks to their deep knowledge of bird ecology, added to their commitment and enthusiasm in working with students, they have made it possible to define an aspect that has led to several generations of researchers in the area, laying solid foundations for better knowledge of our resources. and contribute to the provision of strategies for their conservation.

ProfileMichelle Brown, University of Edinburgh (Scotland). Michelle joined the University of Edinburgh in 2014 bringing nearly 20 years of cross-sectoral international experience. She has worked with a range of organizations on sustainability, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals in mainland China and Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, parts of Africa, the UK and Canada. At the University of Edinburgh, she oversees staff, student, community engagement and communications. She is responsible for ensuring effective programmes to support the University's goals and ambitions for zero carbon and zero waste, circular economy, responsible investment and supply chains, and community engagement. Prior to this, she was a Director in CSR Asia and also director of an international NGO in mainland China and led organizations and programs in Vietnam and in Canada. Over the years, she has worked as a consultant for various multinational companies, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank and for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and for numerous international development and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). She was also adjunct faculty at the Asian Institute of Technology leading executive education on business and human rights and community engagement. She currently also serves as Fellow of ICRS (Institute of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability) and IEMA (worldwide alliance of environment and sustainability professionals).

Profile PhotoManfred Braune, University of Cape Town (South Africa). Manfred currently holds the position of Director: Environmental Sustainability at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where he leads the strategy and implementation of environmental sustainability across all spheres of the university including operations, learning, research and governance since early 2019 of this newly established directorate at UCT. Manfred also serves in a voluntary non-executive director role on the GBCSA board since 2020. His background is as a professional electrical engineer, having worked at WSP Group for over 10 years designing and project managing the delivery of various large design and construction projects, where he also started and led WSP’s green building business for 3 years. After this Manfred worked at the Green Building Council South Africa for just under 10 years directing all technical and training related matters, as well as being an executive director on the board. Manfred has spoken at various local and international conferences, in South Africa and the USA. Manfred has also been involved extensively in supporting other green building councils across the African continent to assist them in establishing their green building initiatives. Manfred is well connected in the property and green building industry both locally and globally, where he has engaged extensively with senior staff and leading industry stakeholders of various leading organizations in this sector.

ProfileKensuke Fukushi, University of Tokyo and United Nations University. Academic Programme Officer at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). He is also Professor and Vice Director of the Institute for Future Initiatives (formerly Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, IR3S) at the University of Tokyo. He is a civil-environmental engineer and holds appointments at the UTokyo Graduate Schools of Engineering and Frontier Sciences, where he organizes the Urban Sustainability Science Laboratory. He is one of the founding faculty members of IR3S and achieved remarkable progress in promoting sustainability science in various academic communities. He serves as an Editorial Advisor of Sustainability Science Journal, the Science Planning Group member of Asian Pacific Network for Global Change Research, and Distinguished External Faculty member of Asian Institute of Technology. He received B.S. and M.S from Tohoku University in Civil Engineering, and Ph.D. from University of Utah in Civil Engineering.

Will Syddall, University of New South Wales (Australia). Profile PhotosWill is Head of Environmental Sustainability at UNSW and leads the development and implementation of the Environmental Sustainability Plan, with a focus on UNSW’s operational impacts. Born in Sydney, he grew up in the UK and worked for a decade as an environmental sustainability advisor in the real estate and healthcare sectors in London. Will took up his current role after returning to Australia in 2018 and is a passionate advocate for action on climate change and other environmental sustainability issues.