Class of 2023
Hi all! My name is Maya Alcantara and I am a California native through and through! I was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga then decided to move upstate to the Bay Area for my undergraduate studies. I graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California in the Spring of 2022 where I received my B.A. in Economics with a concentration in Sustainability while playing division one soccer. Over the last six months, I have had the privilege to travel the world playing for the Philippines National Football team in preparation for the 2023 World Cup. Throughout my travels, I became all the more certain that attending Georgetown University and the ESM program, specifically, was the correct choice for me. As a non-Black woman of color, I am hopeful that the ESM program will provide me with the tools necessary to create actionable, just change for marginalized groups suffering from environmental injustices. I am particularly interested in learning about how I can promote sustainability within the framework of critical environmental justice.
My name is Mia Astudillo. I arrived in DC from Toronto, Canada but have spent most of my life in Metro Manila, Philippines. I received my bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines at Diliman back when most people’s smartphones were Blackberries. Six years in asset management made me realize that I wanted to invest in helping society and the planet, especially when I contrasted my clients’ wealth with the poverty of other groups. To add to the typhoons that batter the Philippines yearly, scuba diving brought me even closer to the effects of climate change on the environment. After my family moved to Canada, I worked as a credit analyst while doing volunteer work related to climate, zero waste, and environmental policy. I chose the MS-ESM program because of its approach to tackling sustainability issues from the perspectives of science and business while being located in a center of policy-making. I look forward to learning from my professors and peers at Georgetown and marrying my background in finance with my education, all for the purpose of being able to direct funding and resources to those who need these the most.
Hi everyone! My name is Lucero Betancur. I was born in Colombia but moved to Florida when I was young. I have always been passionate about math and problem solving so this led me to a career in Engineering. In 2014, I graduated from the University of Florida with my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, I started my career with a global energy company as a Subsea Engineer. For 7 years I worked delivering major energy projects, overseeing the engineering and delivery of complex subsea systems. I enjoyed contributing to the energy needs of the world!
I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with a Concentration in Ballet and a minor in Business Management from Marymount Manhattan College. I have worked professionally as a dancer for many years as well as taught Pilates for the last 4. I have always been passionate about science, climate change and the environment so applying for the MS-ESM program was a no brainer.
Hi! My name is Nicolás Campos, and I come from Santiago de Chile. I moved to DC six months ago to live with my wife. I graduated in Geography from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and have a master’s degree in Strategic Communications from the Adolfo Ibañez University, also in Chile.
My background has been quite chaotic and explaining it has been difficult at times. I am from Honduras but I was born in Switzerland. After I lived in Panama, Brazil, England, Nigeria, Colombia, Spain, Costa Rica. This cultural transaction led me to study International Relations with a Minor in Management in Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland. Spending time in Geneva, I was able to open my eyes to new fields of study in particular Sustainability. Sadly I have witnessed how climate change is affecting regions of the world. The rate of how quickly this process is taking place is scary. Which is why I chose the MS-ESM program. The program will equip me with the necessary tools to tackle climate change while being a leader. Additionally, have a in-depth understanding of the scientific process is crucial.
Hello! My name is Kaylen Chung, and I’m from Taipei, Taiwan. I received my undergrad degrees in Advertising and French from Penn State in 2017. Growing up on a subtropical island with an incredible natural environment and biodiversity, I have always felt an innate reverence for nature. Taiwan also has one of the highest recycling rates in the world on top of a well-established waste management system, which deeply influenced my value to live sustainably and guided me to seek ways to protect it for future generations. I am excited to be part of the global Georgetown community and learn how to integrate science and business principles with my cohort to build a more sustainable future.
My name is Sean Connolly and I am from Danbury, Connecticut. I am a recent graduate of the University of Scranton and I received a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics and Philosophy with a minor in Theology & Religious Studies. As a young person becoming more aware of the state of all the worlds we live within, such as environmental, economic, and political, I wish to orient my career toward the confluence of these three worlds in order to find and promote a happy and healthier world for everyone. My decision to attend Georgetown University and more specifically the Environment and Sustainability Management program was heavily influenced by my time in the Adirondack Park of upstate New York, where I had the opportunity to work and live amongst the mountains in a position that directly sought to protect the beauty of the Park. I am excited to learn, make friends, and grow as an individual and member of my cohort at Georgetown University.
My name is Uloma Ezeogu. I am from Nigeria, but I have lived in the Washington DC area for the last five years. I have a bachelor’s degree in geology from Federal University of Technology, Owerri in Nigeria. My future goals are focused around environmental remediation, sustainability management and small business sustainability planning. I chose the MS-ESM program because it’s broad curriculum, a perfect blend of environmental, sustainability and management courses, will enable me to gain extensive knowledge to achieve my career goals with a single degree.
Hi my name is Tristan Gess, and I am from Denver, Colorado. Before attending the MS-ESM program, I attended the University of Virginia for my Bachelors degree in Biology. Growing up, my family had always put an emphasis on being sustainable any way we could all the way from everyday recycling and monitoring our water usage, to in the last 5 years having our home run almost completely on renewable energy. For the majority of my undergraduate career, I was focused on working in biology and chemistry labs supported by several commerce and management based courses. While balancing academics and being a Division 1 student-athlete I was also involved in Green Athletics and worked on enabling and educating the Charlottesville community about sustainability and the importance it holds to our future. After taking a year off from school and growing my passion for sustainability and the business foundations that go along with it, I am excited to attend Georgetown’s Environment and Sustainability Management Program. I look forward to being able to make an immediate impact upon entering the field and working for a more sustainable future for corporations and individuals alike.
Hello! My name is Shahdin Ghaffari, a recent addition to Georgetown’s MS-ESM program. I was born and raised in the Northern Virginia area, and completed my B.S. in Biology at Virginia Tech. I started off at VT planning to pursue Veterinary Medicine, but after taking an Environmental Law course, I left with both a degree and a strong desire to pursue a career centered around sustainability in government and business settings. Following graduation, I took a gap year to explore outlets that furthered my knowledge and passion, including creating, hosting, and marketing a green-centered podcast, practicing and preaching permaculture methods within my community, and partnering with sustainability-oriented beauty companies for international outreach.
Mae came to the MS-ESM program after three years of working in marketing and environmental impact reporting for mission-driven startups. In 2019, Mae achieved a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies from UC Berkeley, specializing in Political Ecology. Her undergraduate degree fueled her interest in how organizations play a role in the climate crisis and environmental movement. She has since been dedicated to bridging the gap between business and ethical consumerism. Mae is currently the Head of Marketing for the Los Angeles Hub at the international non-profit, Impact Consulting, providing pro-bono consulting services to NGOs and social enterprises in the greater LA area. Prior, she managed the marketing department at a sustainable food company, Kuli Kuli Inc., and directed a carbon footprint analysis of the organization’s supply chain. Mae has also helped lead the digital media efforts at Vegamour, a fast-growing clean beauty brand.
Christian Graf von Matuschka
My name is Christian Graf von Matuschka and I previously studied business administration at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, one of the leading business schools in Germany. I grew up in Frankfurt am Main and have since been particularly interested in the intersection between finance and the environment. All my internships so far have been in this field (environmental investments at Flossbach von Storch, environmental consulting at SYSTEMIQ and environmental banking at Landbanking Group). My future goal is to work in the environmental finance industry and show that the environmental sector offers the greatest growth opportunity the world has ever seen. I chose the MS-ESM program because it is an interface between management and the environment, and it will be critical to deliver the right messages based on a world-class educational foundation. In addition, Georgetown is distinguished by a truly global and diverse community, which is necessary to solve the climate crisis as quickly as possible.
My name is Will Groshek and I’m from West Hartford, Connecticut. I recently graduated from American University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. My academic interests in the natural sciences range from agricultural management within the Colorado River Basin to the economic role of coastal wetlands for regional fisheries.
My name is Connery Gschwend and I’m from Santa Rosa, California. I graduated from Georgetown University in 2020 with a B.S. in Biology of Global Health. While initially entering my undergraduate studies on a pre-medical track, the recent record-breaking wildfire seasons amplified by climate change in California drove my desire to pursue a career related to sustainability, as I experienced how these environmental disasters can dramatically affect lives and communities. I was able to cement my interest in this area through several environmentally-centered courses later on in my studies, in which I was able to take on several research projects and learn the importance of the ecological viability of economic developments in both the long and short term. With more organizations placing a greater emphasis on sustainability today, I aspire to take on a role in which I can effectively address environmental impact. Given my scientific background, I was drawn to Georgetown’s MS-ESM program for the interdisciplinary opportunity to develop a foundation in business management within the scope of sustainability. I look forward to studying strategies to take on global environmental issues through this program.
I’m Sam Krauland, I’m from the Washington D.C. metro area and completed my undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis. I studied International Affairs with a minor in Environmental Earth Sciences in St. Louis. As an undergrad, I was interested in a somewhat random assortment of topics, such as international development, intercultural communication, soil science, and planetary studies. After graduation, I began working in the intellectual property department of a law firm in Georgetown working with clients across different industries.
Hello all, I’m Ana Lipton, and I graduated from American University with two degrees (B.A. and B.S.) in December of 2021. My decision to get two bachelor’s degrees was driven by my studies and work experiences, which made it clear that these two fields must be considered simultaneously to be fully effective: knowledge in a subject is valuable so long as it can be communicated to and implemented with others in corporate and public policy. Recently, I have worked on decarbonizing industrial supply chains at the Clean Energy Buyers Association. While an undergraduate, I also worked on legislation for providing solar-powered borehole pumps in Kenya, assisting a Spanish company in introducing chemical-free water treatment to urban areas, and using GIS to create demo routes for the Department of Energy. Before that, I was a fellow for Re-Volv bringing solar energy to the local D.C. area and UNICEF while in England. While at Georgetown, I plan to further my knowledge about sustainable business practices and how to communicate business cases for sustainability to corporate organizations. Specifically, I hope to focus on Science-Based Targets and Triple Bottom Line accounting so that companies may meet their financial and environmental goals in tandem. I am excited to be a part of the MS-ESM pilot cohort alongside my peers as we continue our academic journeys together.
My name is Tim Maguire and I am from Madison, New Jersey. I graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in 2022, receiving a B.S. in Science, Technology, & International Affairs (STIA) with a concentration in Energy and Environment, as well as a minor in Spanish. I’m more than excited to stay on the Hilltop this year as part of MS-ESM program’s inaugural class!
Hello! My name is Erkhemshagai Mandakhbayar and I am from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I graduated from the University of Finance and Economics in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia with a BBA in Financial Management in 2018. Upon completing my undergraduate degree, I started working as an Environmental and Social Responsibility Monitoring Officer at the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia. I was responsible for conducting environmental and social risk assessments on corporate loans as well as devising the conditions to be included in the loan agreements to mitigate their environmental and social risks. I made improvements to the existing environmental and social risk management policies and procedures, including the monitoring of the loan conditions. As a result, the quality of the assessments and the effectiveness of the loan conditions imposed on high-risk transactions improved significantly. This contributed to the bank being recognized as the Best Sustainable (ToC) Bank in Mongolia in 2019. Between 2019 and 2020, I worked on the Trade and Development Bank’s accreditation by the Green Climate Fund as a project team member. On this project, I worked on creating new frameworks and improving the existing system to satisfy the Green Climate Fund’s environmental and social safeguards. I worked on establishing a Complaint Mechanism and Environmental and Social Risk Management Procedures for Projects and Programmes Funded by Climate Finance. As a result of our project, in March of 2020, Trade and Development Bank was approved as an Accredited Entity of the Green Climate Fund and obtained access to receive funding of up to 250 million USD to implement projects and programmes with paradigm-shifting potential. These experiences have solidified my passion and inspired me to broaden my knowledge and be better prepared to lead the changes taking place all around the world to achieve sustainable development and contribute to climate change mitigation efforts. That is why I applied to the MS-ESM program for its interdisciplinary curriculum of science and business classes. I have no doubt that the outstanding academics and the values at the heart of this program will fully equip me to have an impactful career.
Andrea Marin Monterrubio
Andrea has a Bachelor of Law degree from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City. She is a member of Mujeres en Energía Renovable Mexico (Women in Renewable Energy, Mexico), which empowers women in the energy sector. Andrea was also a founding member of Young Energy Professionals Mexico. Andrea Marin joined 5, an energy consulting firm, in 2017 to promote clean energy consumption among industrial and commercial clients in Mexico. From 2019 to 2022, in her role as General Director, Andrea was responsible for developing and managing the overall business, including oversight of strategic planning, business development, and operations. Before 5, Andrea worked for an electricity supplier and natural gas marketer, in a business development role. She also has extensive experience in environmental regulatory matters, having worked for the Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources of Mexico, as well as an independent advisor for several projects.
I’m Vanessa “Van” Murakami and I am coming to Georgetown University from Edmonds, Washington. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. During my time there I did multiple studies at the Friday Harbor Labs. A lot of the research related to climate change and the effects it has on our oceans. I studied seal behavior because of human interactions and the rise of eelgrass wasting disease because of the increase in ocean temperatures.
Previously, I attended UCLA and graduated in the spring of 2021 with a B.S. in biology. While I lived in LA for a year after graduation I will be coming to Georgetown from Stillwater, Minnesota. After working for a year in LA I decided to move back home in July to spend some time with my family before the start of classes. My background in school has always been very science focused, and I especially enjoyed my life science classes growing up. In college, I originally planned on majoring in environmental science but pivoted to ecology and eventually landed on pursuing a degree in biology as it was the best fit for my interests. In the future, I hope to work in the field of environmental consulting but the end goal for me would be becoming the Chief Sustainability Officer of a large university or corporation. This may seem like a strange goal for someone with a background in biology, however, I always knew I wanted to have a foot in the business world while working in a science-based field. This interest stems largely from my father and brother who are both entrepreneurs and inspired my interest in the business side of the industry of sustainability. I chose the MS-ESM program because it perfectly matched my interest in a program that merges science and business under the lens of sustainability.
I earned my BA in International Studies with a concentration in sustainability from American University as a part of its three year BA program Global Scholars. I am originally from Westchester, New York. Prior to joining the MS-ESM Program, I worked at the Department of Justice and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. While completing the MS-ESM Program, I will be working as a legal assistant at the Department of Justice specializing in maritime pollution cases. I chose the MS-ESM Program because the curriculum’s combination of environmental science and business principles will allow me to build upon the international perspective to sustainability that I developed during my undergraduate studies. My future goal is to work as a lawyer specializing in environmental and energy law.
Hi! My name is Daniela Palma and I am from Lima, Peru. I graduated in 2019 from Boston College where I double majored in Economics and Political Science. Growing up in Peru has driven me to pursue a career focused on sustainable development as I want to work towards increasing opportunities, protecting the environment, and promoting social justice. Since graduating, I have worked for nonprofits, the public sector, and the private sector which have all shown me how companies can generate more effective measures when integrating a sustainability mindset in their operations. Throughout these work experiences, I have found one common challenge which is shifting the focus from beyond social responsibility to integrating sustainability within a business´s processes and objectives. I applied to the MS-ESM program because I want to learn how to use data, business framework, and a better understanding of environmental systems to show the added value that sustainability can have for an organization.
My name is Jenna Peabody and I’m from Boston. I earned my Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management. After graduating, I spent nearly four years working at public accounting firms in their Marketing departments. Over these years, I grew more aware of opportunities to help mitigate climate change. Most recently, I worked for Deloitte in their Sustainability, Climate & Equity marketing practice. For many reasons, I chose to pursue the MS-ESM degree at Georgetown, beginning with it being the only university to offer an interdisciplinary-approached program that would teach business and environmental skills, equipping graduates to immediately hit the ground running in sustainability management. Upon graduation, my goal is to improve an organization’s environmental impact in a role that aligns with my values on climate change. I plan do the right thing that makes economic sense: build a career in sustainability to benefit the community, the planet, and the profits of stakeholders.
Hello! My name is Clayton Pokorny, and I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated from Northwestern University in 2022 with degrees in Environmental Science and Biology as well as a Certificate in Sustainability and Energy. During my undergraduate education, I pursued classes covering conservation, sustainable development, climate change and renewable energy. Before coming to Georgetown, I spent the summer in Austin working for the Great Springs Project, a non-profit building a 100-mile trail and conserving 50,000 acres in Central Texas. I’ve also interned at Drawbridge Solutions, a Chicago-based environmental consulting firm, where I focused on GIS mapping and development of contaminated brownfields. Prior to that, I worked with EcoSwell, a Peruvian non-profit interested in reforestation and conservation in rural communities.
My name is Sungyun Ryoo and I am looking forward to start the M.S. in Environment and Sustainability Management. Before coming to Georgetown, I attended New York University where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in sustainable development. I am originally from Seoul, South Korea, but I have lived in Taiwan for the majority of my life (over 14 years). After completing my master’s I hope to work in the sustainability sector as either an environmental consultant or as part of a team dedicated towards reducing a company’s environmental footprint. I chose the MS-ESM program because of its interdisciplinary nature and the curriculum’s focus on business’s role towards the environment.
My name is Maanasa Shivkumar and I come from this tiny little city-state on the map called Singapore. I graduated in 2020 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Informatics . During my undergraduate journey, I took many classes in business optimization and modeling as the practical application of helping businesses make the most efficient use of their resources always interested me.
Hi! My name is Mancy Tomar, and I am from New Delhi, India. I have a master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice from the TERI School of Advanced Studies. Prior to that, I studied Botany (Honors) at the University of Delhi. Over the past several years, I have been passionate about creating scalable and sustainable impact models while working as a consultant in the development and CSR space. I was previously employed at Thinkthrough Consulting and Grant Thornton Bharat LLP, both in New Delhi, India. I primarily worked in articulating social development strategies, optimizing value for investment in social projects, providing technical support, and measuring the impact on development.
After graduating from Colby College in Maine with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy, I moved to Washington, DC to work for the American Public Power Association, a nonprofit that supports public power utilities. While at APPA, I decided to pursue a Masters program that combined environmental and business principles and chose Georgetown University. I’m excited to be part of a brand new program and ready to learn about ways to advance sustainability. With the knowledge I’ll gain from Georgetown’s MS-ESM program, I want to help companies and organizations design and implement sustainable practices to support both people and our planet.
David W. Yellen joins the MS-ESM program having spent two years working on energy and climate policy in Washington, D.C. where he currently serves as a strategic advisor at Clean Air Task Force. Previously, David was an associate director at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, where he was responsible for Asia-Pacific research and programming, as well as the Center’s hydrogen work, and he contributed to energy security and markets research. David chose the ESM program to gain a new perspective on climate and energy industries and issues, having worked in and studied policy. In the future, he hopes to work on project development in the clean energy sector or for government, in particular on international clean technology cooperation and development. David received his bachelors in government from Georgetown University, with a focus on energy markets and policy and a minor in economics.