Our Team

The most important asset at the Sustainability Institute is our people — the faculty, staff and researchers committed to generating synergies that will establish Ohio State as a leading public institution of sustainability.

The Sustainability Institute nurtures an environment where interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships drive education, research, engagement and solutions for sustainability and resilience challenges. A dedicated team of professionals manages the institute, enabling our faculty to fully utilize the extensive capabilities of the university and our greater community. Our faculty leadership team is comprised of faculty and managers from a spectrum of disciplines who are devoted to the support of collaborative research on sustainability and resilience.


Sustainability is an inherently interdisciplinary topic that transcends any single academic unit, discipline or sector. Sustainability and resilience research draws from the natural, social, medical and engineering sciences, and humanities, as well as from public health, policy, business and law. It’s grounded in earth, environmental and ecosystem sciences.


Sustainability researchers at Ohio State are investigating: What factors and trends reshape our society and determine the limits of human-environment systems?  How can we more effectively harness science and technology toward sustainability? What technologies and policies are needed to successfully transition from fossil-based to zero-carbon energy? What incentives and strategies can most effectively lead to more sustainable behaviors and communities?


The societal challenges of sustainability underscore the need for interdisciplinary sustainability education, research and engagement efforts that integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines and apply this knowledge through partnerships with local, state, national and global stakeholders to solve sustainability challenges.

Kate Bartter
Executive Director
Elena Irwin
Faculty Director
Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in Economics & Sustainability
Mike Shelton
Associate Director
Josh Knights
Director of Partnerships
Gina Jaquet
Director, Sustainability Education and Learning
Katie Zimmerman
EmPOWERment Program Manager
Liz Quigley
Co-Curricular and Community Initiatives Program Manager
Kathy Jackson
Program Assistant
Kim McIlwaine
Executive Assistant
Kate Bartter
Executive Director

Sustainability Institute Executive Steering Committee

SI is fortunate and grateful to have a group of distinguished university leaders to serve on our Executive Steering Committee. They are:

  • Trevor Brown, Dean, John Glenn College of Public Affairs
  • Cathann Kress, Dean, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Ayanna Howard, Dean, College of Engineering 
  • Randy Moses, Senior Associate Vice President, Office of Research
  • David Horn, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cinnamon Carlarne, Associate Dean, College of Law
  • Ryan Schmiesing, Vice Provost, Outreach and Engagement, Office of Academic Affairs

Affiliated Faculty and Researchers

The Sustainability Institute is building a network of Affiliated Faculty and Researchers to support, connect and extend the sustainability work in which faculty are engaged. We support teams and networks of faculty, other researchers, students and staff at Ohio State working together and with external partners to confront the enormous sustainability and resilience challenges facing our communities.

To become an Affiliated Faculty or Researcher, visit go.osu.edu/joinSI.

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