Education News

MPA-ESP Graduates Working as Environmental Professionals

2008-08-29

Since the program’s first class received their MPAs in May, 2003  graduates of the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy program (MPA-ESP), sponsored by the School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, have been faring well,  and achieving professional success/.

The MPA-ESP program has graduated 306 individuals since launching in 2002. Equipped with hands-on experience and decision-making and policy-analysis skills developed in the program, graduates move on to professions relating to environmental policy in the government, private and non-profit sectors.  Within each of these sectors, our graduates are called upon to address environmental, resource and global change issues, specifically air, water, climate, energy efficiency, food, agriculture, transportation and waste management, among others.  Working as consultants, environmental and public health advisors, project managers, program directors, policy analysts, teachers, researchers and environmental scientists and engineers, our graduates apply their MPA-ESP education in the real world.

According to Program Director and Earth Institute Executive Director Steven Cohen, “The program is succeeding in its fundamental goal of educating a new kind of environmental professional. Our graduates translate environmental science for policy makers and environmental politics for scientists. Our alumni are terrific—they are smart, energetic and dedicated to ensuring the planet’s sustainability.”

In a recent survey of MPA-ESP graduates, 139 responded to provide information on what they are doing today.118, or 85%, responded that they are currently working professionally and 6% have chosen to continue their education. The average annual salary of the survey respondents is roughly $60,840, a substantial increase from previous years. Approximately 40% of the respondents now working professionally are working for government agencies, such as the City of New York, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Parks Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United Nations Environment Program and the National Marine Fisheries Service, among many other national and international agencies. Over twenty students have been honored as Presidential Management Fellows, including 4 from the 2008 class alone. This highly competitive and prestigious fellowship selects well-qualified individuals from a nationwide pool of candidates who are committed to careers in the analysis of public policies and programs.

Our alums are well represented in the private sector with 37% of graduates, both in the United States and abroad, working with firms including AIG Environmental, Bear Stearns, Booz Allen Hamilton, Kinetix, Duke Management Company, Mitsubishi, TechLaw, Inc., Clipper Windpower, Inc. and EcoSecurities Ltd., among others.

Approximately 23% of of  those working are in the non-profit sector, employed by research, national or international organizations including Environmental Defense, GreenSeal, the National Resources Defense Council, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, c., and TransFair USA, a fair trade certification agency.

Some of our alums continue their formal education and about6% of graduates are currently continuing their education, pursuing law and business degrees, other professional degrees or PhDs in subjects ranging from marine biology to engineering. These graduates are studying at University of South Florida, Columbia University, Kyoto University, University of California at Berkeley, Technische Universität München and New York University Law School.

Today, MPA-ESP graduates reside all over the world, from the United States' East or West Coast to other countries such as Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, China, Indonesia, Russia, India, Israel, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Tanzania, England, Chile, Mexico, France, Ukraine, Senegal and South Africa.

Places of Employment:

Government and Intergovernmental Organizations:
Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE); City of Bayonne/ Bayonne Economic Development Corporation (BEDC); EPA- Clean Air Markets Division; NOAA Climate Program Office; NYSOPRHP, Environmental Mgmt. Bureau; United Nations Development Programme; US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 CFO Office; NASA; British Consulate - UK Trade and Investment; Cabinet Office, Government of Japan; California Public Utilities Commission; City of Denver Parks and Recreation Department, Water Conservation Program; City of Flint, MI, Water Pollution Control Facility; City of New York Office of Energy Conservation DCAS; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of Political Affairs, UNHQ, secretariat; Department of the Interior- Bureau of Land Management; Energy Division Representative for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in Chicago, Illinois; Environmental Protection Agency- Region 9; EPA Climate Change Division, Washington, D.C.; EPA Office of Solid Waste/ Municipal and Industrial Solid Waste Division;EPA: Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response; Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Government of the Northwest Territories; Greater London Authority; Manhattan Borough President's Office; Maricopa County Department of Public Health; Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan Patent Office; National Marine Fisheries Service; National Marine Protected Areas Center, NOAA; National Parks Service, National Heritage Areas Program; New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change, Australia; NOAA Fisheries Restoration Center; Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM); Nuclear Regulatory Commission; NYC Office of Management and Budget; NYC Department of Sanitation; NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection (Bureau of Water Supply); NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability; NYC Office of Management and Budget; NYC Teaching Fellow; Office of Climate Change, British Government; U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Sullivan County - Planning and Environmental Management; Teach for America- Baltimore City Public Schools; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; UNEP; UNEP, Paris Secretariat; American Museum of Natural History; US Army Corps of Engineers, NY District; US Army Environmental Center; US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Biomass Program; US Department of State; US Dept of Agriculture- Office of Budget and Programs; US Dept of Commerce, NOAA, Budget Office; EPA - ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings; US National Park Service, US Department of the Interior; US Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and Coast Guard (Democratic Staff); Volpe Center, part of US Dept of Transportation; Washington State Parks; World Bank Group

Private Companies:
AIG Environmental; Architectural Energy Corporation (AEC); Aspen Environmental Group; Bear Stearns; BearingPoint, Inc.; Bell Canada; Best Foot Forward, Ltd.; Biofílica; Blacksmith Institute; Booz Allen Hamilton; Cadmus Group; Cameron-Cole, LLC; Carbon Credit Capital; Carrollo Engineers; Clipper Windpower, Inc.; Compass Lexecon; Duke Management Company; Dye Management Group, Inc.; EcoSecuritites Group; Edison Media Research; EDS; Energy Markets Associate; Energy Solutions; EnerNOC; enfoTech and Consulting, Inc.; Environmental & Engineering Consulting Firm; Environmental Resources Management Inc.; Evolution Markets, Inc.; Freelance Photography; Garten Rothkopf, LLC; Gesellschraft fur Technischer Zusammenarbeit (GTZ); GFI Group; Greenhouse Gas Services, LLc - A GE/AES Venture; Horizon Wind Energy; ICF International; Louis Berger Group, Inc.; Malcolm Pirnie; Martin and Wood Water Consultants, Inc.; Michael Baker Engineering; Mitsubishi Corporation; Nacional Financiera; Navigant Consulting; Northwest Airlines; PBS&J Inc.; Pine Realty; Price Waterhouse Coopers; Price Waterhouse Coopers-Mexico; Recycled Energy Development LLC; Red Oak, a division of Malcolm Pirnie; Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland, Peretti LP; Salym Petroleum Development, Shell EP, Russia; Samsung Engineering Co.,ltd; Scientific Engineering Centre "Biomass"; Shorebank Corporation; Smith & Carson, Inc.; SRA International Inc.; Sustainable Energy Solutions; Svante Scientific, Inc; TechLaw, Inc.; Techphone; TFS Energy LLC; The Environmental Company, Inc.;Wachovia Securities Financial Network Industry.

Non-Profit Organizations:
ACCESS development/CARE India; American Museum of Natural History; AVAAZ; Bronx River Alliance; Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy; California Wilderness Coalition; Carbon Fund; Chagrin River Land Conservancy; Conservation International; Conservation Network, Inc.; Democratic National Committee; Deshpande Foundation; Dui Hua Organization; Earth Works Institute, River Source; Environmental Defense; Environmental Insurance Agency and CLF Ventures, Inc. (subsidiaries of the Conservation Law Foundation); Eutopianow.org; Global Roundtable on Climate Change at the Earth Institute; Green Seal; Con Edison NYC; Homes for the Homeless/The Institute for Children and Poverty; International Research Institute for Climate Prediction; Kuwait University; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Natural Resources Defense Council; Nature Conservancy; Network for New Energy Choices; New York City Audubon Society; Ozone Transport Commission; Partnership for NYC; Pew Center on Global Climate Change; Reef Protection International; Regional Plan Association; Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs); Rockefeller/Gates Foundation; Sierra Nevada Alliance; Social Compact; The Campaign; The Consortium for Energy Efficiency; The Earth Institute at Columbia University; The University of Arizona; TransFair USA; Water Conservation Alliance of Southern Arizona; Waterkeeper Alliance; Women and Girls Empowerment Program

Continuing Education:
University of South Florida; Columbia University; Kyoto University; University of California at Berkeley; Technische Universität München; New York University Law School; London School of Economics; Stanford University; Harvard University; College of William and Mary; Boston University; University of Arizona; University of Colorado; University of Oregon.