Dr. Michel Boudrias is an Associate Professor in Environmental and Ocean Sciences and he teaches courses on environmental issues, sustainability, and coastal environmental science. His primary research area focuses on long-term ecological studies of shallow-water coastal habitats impacted by human activities both in San Diego and in developing countries. He was named the Director of the Care for Our Common Home pathway in 2019 supporting the University of San Diego’s Envision 2024 Strategic Plan and the Urgent Challenges Collective.
Dr. Emily Young is Executive Director of The Nonprofit Institute in the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She also serves on the boards of California State Parks Foundation, Environmental Grantmakers Association, and International Community Foundation. She has spent over 20 years in various positions in philanthropy and higher education. Before the University of San Diego, she served as Vice President of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation, where she built its Environment Program with grant making initiatives around climate change, conservation and outdoor access, and clean air/water protection. She also managed initiatives on civic engagement, youth development, and neighborhood revitalization.
Dr. Young received the 2011 Funder’s Network for Smart Growth Nicholas P. Bollman Award for leaders who inspire through values and action.
She received a MS in geography at the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin.
Abby Berk is a Clinical Professor of Management in the School of Business teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in business and society, ethics, sustainability, and environmental management which became USD's first carbon neutral class. Abby is a certified sustainability practitioner, a Climate Reality leader and a Climate Ambassador for the En-Roads climate simulator. She also leads the Climate Advisory Group for the City of Coronado’s Climate Action Plan.
Jeremy Gabe joined USD in 2019. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate real estate courses in real estate finance, sustainability, market analysis and housing policy. Gabe spent the last 15 years in the New Zealand real estate and architecture research community, consulting with governments and industry councils interested in the adoption of green building practices and green building assessment tools. His applied research addresses the value of urban design, adoption of sustainable building practices and housing affordability and he regularly wins awards from leading academic societies.
Savannah began as a student assistant in the Office of Sustainability in 2018 and has continued her work in the office ever since in a variety of roles. Post-graduation, she accepted the Sustainability Coordinator position where she now supervises 5 undergraduate and 2 graduate student assistants, coordinates the office's events and marketing efforts, and promotes sustainable initiatives at USD. One of her major projects this year will be assisting with the creation of a new Climate Action Plan for USD.
Dr. Simon Croom is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at the School of Business. He has a Ph.D. in Business, Master’s degrees in both Psychology and Management Science, and postgraduate qualifications in international politics and post-compulsory education.
After 12 years in management and running his own successful business, he has spent the last 30 years in academia researching, teaching, and advising on purchasing and supply chain management, including a period as an advisor to the UK Government on procurement.
As the Director of Community Engaged Learning in the Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action; John works collaboratively as part of a team responsible for ensuring that USD is a global and national leader as a community-engaged anchor institution committed to democratic and equitable community partnerships that generate transformative solutions to societal challenges. John’s commitment to positive social change through community engagement began during his service in Peace Corps Jamaica. His continued dedication is exemplified through his roles as a volunteer with the Oncology and Kids (OAK), as board member of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the Place-Based Justice Network, and as active Normal Heights community member.
Darbi Berry serves as the Director of Climate and Environmental Programs at the Nonprofit Institute (NPI) and leads the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (Climate Collaborative), a network for local and regional agencies working to advance climate change solutions. Darbi manages the organization's partnerships, project planning and climate resilience programming in adaptation, water resources, equity and coastal resilience. Darbi directs NPI’s Environment Hub through the Equinox Quality Life Dashboard and building strategic partnerships. Darbi received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida and M.S. in Environmental and Ocean Sciences from the University of San Diego.
Dr. Truc Ngo is a Professor of the Industrial & Systems Engineering Department at USD and the Associate Provost for Research Administration. She teaches courses in manufacturing, sustainability, and coffee. Her research projects focus on the development of materials/processes involving polymers, composites, organic semiconductors, and supercritical fluids. She’s partnered with San Pedro Parish in El Cercado, Dominican Republic since 2014 to develop sustainable solutions in the areas of water, energy, and plastic waste to help the local community. Dr. Ngo led multiple trips with undergraduate students and USD alumni to the Dominican Republic, providing students with international field learning experiences that stretch far beyond the traditional classroom.
Emily Young is Executive Director of The Nonprofit Institute in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She serves on the boards of California State Parks Foundation, International Community Foundation, and Museum of Us. She has spent over 20 years in various positions in philanthropy and higher education. Before the University of San Diego, was Vice President of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation, where she built its Environment Program with grant making initiatives around climate change, conservation and outdoor access, and clean air/water protection. She also managed initiatives on civic engagement, youth development, and neighborhood revitalization.
Dr. JC Rivas is a passionate facilitator of growth & learning for individuals and organizations and a connector to insight and resources to make change happen. JC is the Director of Social Change and Student Engagement for the Changemaker Hub at the University of San Diego where he also teaches Leadership and Organizational Change, Design Thinking, and Introduction to Changemaking. His interest in mindful approaches to social change led him to learn and train in the process of Human-Centered Design. His work combines the fields of social innovation, leadership, and human development. Dr Rivas also facilitates various social change initiatives at the Design Action Lab at Stanford, the Experience Institute in Chicago, and the Columbus Foundation in Ohio.
Former Steering Committee Members
Mark Woods is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy. His current teaching is focused on issues related to the environment and to war and peace. He is currently writing a trilogy on the overlap between armed conflicts and the environment in which each book is focused on a time period of issues concerning armed conflicts and the environment: before, during, and after armed conflicts. The principle of sustainability, that we might also call a principle of durability, plays a central role in mitigating and reducing the military-caused environmental impacts across all three of these time periods.
Andrew Tirrell is an associate professor in the department of Political Science and International Relations. He teaches a range of courses related to environmental politics, human rights, and sustainable development. His research focuses on environmental justice, natural resource management, marine policy, and the Arctic. Active projects include books about: environmental justice at the Mexico-U.S. border; fisheries management policy in Norway, New Zealand, the E.U., and the U.S.; and, international development and ecological boundaries.