Senior Leaders Climate Action Group

Prioritizing and championing climate action and leadership

The Senior Leaders Climate Action Group directs Cornell’s role as an international leader and exemplar to the world in addressing climate change and promoting sustainability through research, education, engagement, and operations – using our own campus as a living laboratory. The SLCAG was formed in 2016 and is led by Lance Collins, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering, and William Sitzabee, Interim Vice President for Infrastructure, Properties and Planning (IPP).The committee features an array of administrators, deans, faculty and student leaders to help guide the university’s climate-action direction. 


With a goal of ameliorating current climate trends by spurring innovative cross-disciplinary solutions, the group will:

  • Serve as the ongoing university leadership group for setting broad climate action direction and prioritizing initiatives that offer the greatest promise of emissions-reducing breakthroughs
  • Organize consortia of stakeholders including federal and state government, private industry, utilities, and foundations to collaborate on high-priority initiatives
  • Communicate to policy makers and the general public knowledge gained through research and demonstration projects
  • Develop a campus-wide engagement plan integrating climate action strategies into the campus culture and strategic plans
  • Champion the campus Climate Action Plan which will be reviewed annually and updated every 5 years.


  • (Co-Chair) Lance Collins, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering 
  • (Co-Chair) Vacant
  • Beth Ahner, Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering and Senior Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences  
  • Jeffrey Bergfalk, Doctoral Candidate, Mathematics 
  • Robert Bland, Associate Vice President for Energy and Sustainability 
  • Edwin A. Cowen, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Kathy Dwyer Marble and Curt Marble Faculty Director for Energy, David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future 
  • Robert Howarth, the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 
  • Barbara Knuth, Senior Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School 
  • David Lodge, the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future 
  • Ryan Lombardi, Vice President for Student and Campus Life 
  • Joel Malina, Vice President for University Relations 
  • Alan Mathios, the Rebecca Q. And James C. Morgan Dean of the College of Human Ecology 
  • Mark Milstein, Clinical Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management 
  • Mary Opperman, Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer 
  • Tishya Ravichander Rao ’18, Urban and Regional Studies in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning 
  • Paul Streeter, Vice President for Budget and Planning 
  • Sarah Zemanick, Director of the Campus Sustainability Office