I am Principal Investigator/Director of the Environmental Performance Measurement Program at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Post-doctoral Associate in the Urbanization and Global Change group at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, CT. My research applies data-driven approaches to inform environmental decision-making and policy. These methods include the development of performance indicators and metrics to make sense of environmental trends, patterns, and progress. They also include the application of geospatial technologies such as remote sensing to map environmental change and performance. I am also interested in how data-driven and information-based governance can work to increase transparency and decision-making for multiple actors and institutions. You can read more about my research, publications, dissertation, and teaching.
Before Yale, I worked as a Research Analyst in the Climate Change and Energy Program at a non-profit environmental think tank in Washington, D.C. called the World Resources Institute. At WRI, I worked on a project called The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an initiative that has worked to harmonize greenhouse gas accounting and reporting standards. Specifically, I helped to implement voluntary greenhouse gas accounting and reporting programs for businesses in developing countries, including Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, South Korea, China, and India. I also managed our projects in China, as well as our communication and outreach. It was a fantastic job, and I still maintain close contact with colleagues at WRI, particularly through networks like ChinaFAQs: The Network for Climate and Energy Information. You can read more about this work by clicking here.
I have a PhD in Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University, an M. Phil in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge in England, and a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Political Science from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. I am originally from Greer, South Carolina, where I was born and lived for 18 years. When I’m not hitting the books, I enjoy cooking, eating good and exotic foods, traveling, running/cycling/hiking, playing the piano and violin, photography, and any creative pursuit I can get my hands on.
For the 2010-2011 academic year, I was hosted at Tsinghua University in Beijing as a Senior Scholar in the School of Environment, supported by a U.S. Fulbright grant. My research has also been supported by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, PEO Scholar Award, Yale Institute for Biospheric Science, and the Center for East Asian Studies at Yale. In 2011, I received the Public Scholar Award from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for being a graduate student whose work betters the world at-large.
I have provided expert testimony to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, and my work has been featured in the The Economist (here, here and here), The New York Times (here, here and here), The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, among others.
My full CV is available upon request.
Here is a video of a presentation where I present the 2014 Environmental Performance Index along with my colleagues Kim Samuel of the Samuel Family Foundation and Marcy Levy of CIESIN, Columbia University at the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Davos: