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Northwestern University

Leadership

The Grant Committee 

Ayelet Chavel, Weinberg 2021

Ayelet is an undergraduate pursuing a major in legal studies, a minor in environmental policy, and the Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate. She serves on the Associated Student Government (ASG) Sustainability Committee and the Wild Ideas Committee.

Rachel Connors, McCormick 2019

Rachel Connors is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. She is currently the copresident of Engineers for a Sustainable World and has previously served as project manager for Pura Playa, a plastic waste reduction team on campus. During the summer of 2018, she will be a Lean Performance Systems Intern at S&C Electric. During the summer of 2017, she interned with Verde Solutions, an energy efficiency consulting firm.

Max Hyman, Weinberg 2021

Max is an undergraduate pursuing a bachelor's degree in economics. His academic interests include sustainable economic growth and development economics. He serves on the academics subcommittee of ASG Sustainability Committee.

Jonathan Pfluger, McCormick Graduate Student

Jonathan is a research professional pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Materials Science and Engineering. Jonathan helps run the student group Northwestern Sustainability and Energy Consortium (NESC), which aims to facilitate collaboration and generate new projects at Northwestern University around sustainability and energy.

Juan Zuniga, Weinberg 2021

Juan is an undergraduate pursuing a double major in political science and economics, and looking into environmental policy. He has worked on the ASG Sustainability Committee for the past year, and is the current VP of Sustainability for ASG.

Faculty and Staff

Kathia Benitez

Kathia Benitez

Kathia Benitez joined the Office of Sustainability in June 2016 as the director of sustainability. Kathia is responsible for providing leadership and management to ensure integration of sustainable practices throughout the University’s campuses. She coordinates and administers sustainability and energy efficiency programs in collaboration with students, faculty and staff. Prior to working for Northwestern, Kathia was the senior manager supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative. In her role, she provided direct oversight and strategic guidance for the Better Buildings Alliance and Better Building Challenge initiatives. She also served as a sector matter expert for healthcare. 

Mark Witte

Mark Witte

Professor Mark Witte's research deals with applied questions in macroeconomics and public finance. His main interests are in consumption theory and topics in taxation. His teaching interests include macroeconomics, money and banking, public finance, and the economics of the environment and the extraction of natural resources. He has been voted onto the Associated Student Government honor roll numerous times in recognition of both his teaching and student advising. He has been honored with a Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS) Distinguished Teaching Award, and a WCAS Distinguished Leader in the Undergraduate Community Award.organizations.

Eric Masanet

Eric MasanetEric Masanet is associate professor in the departments of Mechanical and Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University, where his research focuses on sustainable manufacturing models, theory, and policy analysis and he teaches courses on life-cycle assessment, sustainable manufacturing systems, and sustainability principles. Prior to joining Northwestern in June 2012, Eric spent eight years at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where he most recently held the positions of staff scientist and deputy leader of the International Energy Studies Group. He is editor in chief of Resources, Conservation and Recycling, the leading journal on resource systems sustainability. He has previously served as program co-chair of the International Society for Industrial Ecology Conference (2011) and IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (2008-2010). He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley with a specialization in environmentally-conscious design and manufacturing.

Jeff Henderson

Jeff HendersonJeff is the Associate Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN). Jeff is responsible for the strategic development and management of the Institute’s marketing and communications, and education portfolios. Jeff is currently serving a second three-year term (2012-2015, 2015-2018) on the Northwestern Staff Advisory Council (NUSAC). Prior to ISEN, Jeff worked as the general manager of U.S. operations at a small, private international telecommunications company, based in Oak Park, IL. He grew up in the Bay Area, and received his BA in economics from Northwestern in 2003.

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