Sustainability Summit

Reflect. Innovate. Re-Create.


Featured Speakers: US Representative Sean Casten (IL-6th), Professor and Chef José Andrés, national climate strategist and advisor Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, and others.

 Thursday February 11, 2021

RSVP to Attend 







February 11, 2021








12:00pm - 6:00pm



who should attend


The GW Sustainability Summit is a unique opportunity to bring together GW students, faculty, alumni, and staff with community leaders, policy experts, change makers, thought leaders, and advocates in the Washington, D.C. area. The event will celebrate the role of the university in addressing sustainability in our nation's capital and beyond, and explore innovative solutions that will further motivate and inspire participants to take action.


full AGENDa



12:00pm Welcome Remarks

Tara Scully, Bob Orttung, Frank Sesno, Saniya LeBlanc & Meghan Chapple

Co-Directors Sustainable GW

12:10pm Keynote Interview with Frank Sesno and US Representative Sean Casten (IL-6th)

The Future of Sustainability: The Role of Policy and Politics

12:30pm Remarks by GW President Thomas J. LeBlanc

12:35pm Panel Discussion: Legacy Emissions

When it comes to carbon, is neutrality enough?

Building on GW’s ESG Task Force bold commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 and to remove all historical emissions, we must address the complex challenge of carbon removal and look at solutions that may not exist today. What role does industry, government and start up technology play in this new frontier.

Remarks: Peter Harrison, GW Trustee

Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, National Climate Strategist and Advisor

Noah Deich, Carbon 180 

Meghan Chapple, Moderator, GW Office of Sustainability

1:40pm Panel Discussion: Climate and Community Resilience

In the face of rising global temperatures, communities around the world face changes in weather, infrastructure, health, and ecosystems. Research shows that connections within communities can support resilience in light of these changes. The next generation is looking for solutions. Local and federal governments, as well as corporations and anchor institutions like universities have a significant role to play.

Andrew Salkin, Resilient Cities Catalyst

Wendy Ellis, School of Public Health

Khadija Khokhar, GW 2023 Intl Affairs  & Zero Hour DC

Stephanie Rico, Wells Fargo

Bob Orttung, Moderator, School of International Affairs

2:45pm Remarks by Provost Brian Blake

GW Dean’s Discussion

Sustainability and climate change require cross-disciplinary solutions. How are academics working within their areas of expertise and across disciplines to address the issues? Our University’s Deans will gather to highlight their schools’ research, practice and teaching to solve our greatest challenges.

Lynn Goldman, Milken Institute School of Public Health 

John Lach, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences 

Dayna Matthew, School of Law 

Saniya LeBlanc, Moderator, School of Engineering

4:00pm Panel Discussion: Energy Innovation

How is renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy critical to recovery?

Powering the planet is essential to our future, yet youth are voicing their concerns about pollution and climate change. Renewable energy contributes a cleaner approach to the energy mix. Policymakers, industry, and university leaders are finding innovative ways to encourage cleaner energy purchasing.

Miranda Ballentine, REBA

Daron Coates, Thinkbox

Katherine Neebe, Duke Energy

Gary Farha, Customer First Renewables

John Forrer, Moderator, School of Business

4:45pm Closing Remarks

Interview with Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen

5:15pm Networking for Good

Miranda Ballentine, REBA

R. Denise Everson, Thinkbox

Tara Scully, Director of GW Minor in Sustainability

Anna Hartge, GW Career Coach