Leadership in Sustainability

Administrators, faculty, staff, and students throughout the university are working to research and implement sustainability. Central to this effort has been the Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability, a campaign launched in 2006 to support interdisciplinary research and teaching in all seven of Stanford schools and key institutes. By its conclusion in 2011, the initiative had led to the founding of many new interdisciplinary institutes across campus and provided Stanford with the resources to train a new generation of environmental leaders.

The Department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) leads initiatives in campus infrastructure and programs in the areas of energy and climate, water, transportation, green buildings, and sustainable information technology, as well as various special initiatives. The Office of Sustainability connects campus organizations and works collaboratively with them to steer sustainability initiatives across campus. Major support for these efforts is provided by various operational units within Land, Buildings, and Real Estate (LBRE), Residential & Dining Enterprises, Stanford Recycling Center (run by Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc., PSSI), University Communications, Government and Community Relations, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Precourt Institute for Energy, School of Medicine, Graduate School of Business, School of Earth Sciences, Alumni Association, and numerous student organizations.

From utilities to food systems, there are hundreds of professionals throughout the Stanford community who are involved with sustainability projects in their daily work. The full-time sustainability professionals are listed below, organized by group name:

Department of Sustainability and Energy Management


Joseph Stagner

Executive Director, SEM

    Joe leads the Sustainability and Energy Management Department, which includes 90 staff members in Utilities, Parking & Transportation, Business Services, and the Office of Sustainability. He leads the university’s long-range sustainability infrastructure planning and implementation.

Office of Sustainability


Fahmida Ahmed

Directory, Office of Sustainability
(650) 721-1518

    Fahmida directs the Office of Sustainability and the campus program Sustainable Stanford. She designs and implements sustainability programs, supports the department's long-term energy infrastructure planning, directs the office's education and outreach efforts, chairs the Sustainability Working Group, connects the Sustainability Working Teams, and steers academic integration into program implementation.

Meghan Kearns

Sustainability Coordinator, Office of Sustainability, SEM
(650) 725-4522

    Meghan supports the Office of Sustainability’s student programs and services. She coordinates the Student Green Fund and Sustainable Stanford Internship program and provides support for the Sustainability Working Group.

Moira Hafer

Sustainability Analyst, Office of Sustainability, SEM
(650) 497-5471

    Moira serves as an analyst for the assessments and evaluations portfolio of the campus-wide Sustainable Stanford initiative. Her work includes implementation of the Building-Level Sustainability Program, compilation and analysis of metrics for sustainability reporting, and support for the new plug load inventory process.

Energy Operations


Ron Gawer

Director, Energy Operations, SEM
(650) 497-7993

  Ron will be overseeing energy systems operations for the new and upcoming Stanford Energy Systems Innovations (SESI) Central Energy Facility (CEF), scheduled to come online in 2015.  Ron is responsible for assessing the upcoming plant's operating needs and establishing and overseeing the full team that will be required for the new CEF's ongoing operations.

Robert Reid

Associate Director, Cardinal Cogeneration, SEM
(650) 723-2572

  Robert oversees the procurement and production of commodities as well as mechanical operations of the existing Central Energy Facility/Cardinal Cogeneration Plant. This entails the production of electricity, steam and chilled water supplies at the existing on-campus cogeneration facility.

Rich Bitting

Associate Director, Power Systems, SEM
(650) 725-8001

  Rich directs the Power Systems department, which includes responsibility for the campus electrical distribution system and street lights. Within the department, a staff of engineers, supervisors, and technicians ensure that the campus has an efficient and reliable supply of electricity.

Dean Murray

Associate Director, Thermal Systems, SEM
(650) 721-1267

  Dean manages the steam, hot water, and chilled water underground piping system distribution. His department includes steamfitters, the Steam Shop supervisor, and engineers for the distribution piping systems. Dean ensures delivery of heating and cooling services to academic buildings, housing and dining facilities, athletic facilities, and the Stanford Medical Center.

Facilities Energy Management


Gerry Hamilton

Director, Facilities Energy Management, SEM
(650) 724-8007

  Gerry directs the activities of Stanford’s Facilities Energy Management (FEM) program, including the operation of campus building energy management systems, oversight of the University’s Sustainable IT program, and supervision of building energy retrofit projects. The program ensures that buildings and associated processes are operated efficiently and that new facilities incorporate best practices for energy use.

Scott Gould

Senior Energy Engineer, Building Energy Systems Commissioning, SEM
(650) 725-1818

  Scott works closely with campus stakeholders to identify energy efficiency opportunities in new construction projects and to ensure the design team of architects and engineers understand energy and water goals established for new projects. He also leads renewable energy projects on campus, including a study of the total potential for solar energy on campus, and installation of several photovoltaics systems, including the 30kW system at Reservoir 2 in the Stanford foothills and the 40kW system at the Hoover House.

Marc Epstein

Manager, Facilities Energy Systems Operations, SEM
(650) 725-3921

  Marc supervises the university’s controls engineers and technicians. He leads ongoing support of the centralized Energy Management and Controls System (EMCS) and various Building Management Systems (BMS). Marc oversees multiple programs aimed at improving controls integration, enhancing real-time performance monitoring, and ensuring high quality building commissioning.

Susan (Kulakowski) Vargas

Manager, Facilities Energy Efficiency, SEM
(650) 723-4570

  Susan works to improve the energy performance of the university’s 15 million square feet of existing buildings. Susan administers the Energy Conservation Incentive Program (ECIP) to promote conservation and sustainable procurement. She oversees both a $1 million program and a $15 million capital program to identify, coordinate, and fund efficiency retrofit projects.

Leslie Kramer

Manager, Energy Retrofit Programs, SEM
(650) 725-5388

  Leslie focuses on improving the energy efficiency of the largest energy-consuming buildings on campus through the Whole Building Retrofit Program. She works with stakeholders within Facilities Energy Management, Zone Management, and operational entities to identify and implement projects that save energy and money while maintaining or improving overall building performance. She also helps track the persistence of energy savings from these projects over time.

Water Services and Civil Infrastructure

Tom Zigterman  

Tom Zigterman

Director, Water Resources & Civil Infrastructure, SEM
(650) 725-3400

  Tom manages a group of engineers, scientists, and water technicians who are responsible for operation of Stanford’s water supplies, including domestic water, surface water, waste water, and storm drainage systems, as well as other civil infrastructure including dams, bridges, and roads. He also chairs the Water Sustainability Working Team, which is currently planning the long-term sustainable management of Stanford’s water supply and demand.
Marty Laporte  

Marty Laporte

Associate Director, Environmental Quality & Water Conservation, SEM
(650) 725-7864

  Marty manages Stanford’s Environmental Quality and Compliance Program for campus waters, wastewater, soils, Facilities and Utilities hazardous materials, and underground storage tanks. She also manages Stanford’s Water Conservation Program, which tests new technology, including high-efficiency fixtures, and she oversees the implementation of campus-wide upgrades and new building water efficiency standards.

Parking and Transportation


Brian Shaw

Director, Parking & Transportation Services, SEM
(650) 723-5815

  Brian leads Stanford’s transportation programs, which include parking and retail operations, an award-winning transportation demand management program, a bicycle program, the Marguerite Shuttle service, charter services, transportation program planning and development, and marketing communications. He is a member of Stanford’s Sustainability Working Group.
Lisa Kwiatkowski  

Lisa Kwiatkowski

Manager, Transportation Demand Management and Outreach, SEM
(650) 724-2396

  Lisa leads the marketing and communications efforts for Stanford’s Parking & Transportation Services department, with a focus on promoting alternative transportation through Stanford’s Commute Club and other incentive programs. These efforts have helped reduce the university’s employee drive-alone rate from 72 percent in 2002 to 48 percent in 2010.
Rachel Maiss  

Rachel Mattenberger

Transportation Demand Management Coordinator, SEM
(650) 721-3056

  Rachel supports the university’s transportation demand management program and coordinates alternative transportation promotion efforts at Stanford Research Park. She also helps members of the Stanford community understand the many alternative travel options available to them.
Ariadne Scott  

Ariadne Scott

Bicycle Program Coordinator, Parking & Transportation Services, SEM
(650) 725-2453

  Ariadne leads the bicycle program for Stanford’s 8,000 acre campus, which is designated a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community (2008-2011) by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). She is LAB Road 1 certified, co-teaches bike safety classes, lives “car free,” and supports and encourages student bicyclists and the 18% of employees who bike-commute to and from Stanford.

Residential & Dining Enterprises


Dara Olmsted 

Sustainable Food Program Manager

  Dara manages the Sustainable Food Program, which is a collaborative effort led and managed by Stanford Dining that includes strategic partnerships with vendors and suppliers, students, staff, faculty and other campus stakeholders. Through these partnerships, the Sustainable Food Program seeks to create positive impact across three areas of focus: education, outreach, and awareness; collaboration and partnership; and operational and culinary excellence.
Kristin Parineh  

Kristin Parineh 

Sustainability and Conservation Program Manager, Student Housing 

  Kristin works to incorporate sustainability and conservation into Student Housing's programs and infrastructure. She works with Student Housing employees, student groups including the Green Living Council, and other partners across campus.

Campus Planning and Design


Catherine Deino Blake

Associate Director, University Architect/Campus Planning & Design
(650) 723-3441

  Cathy directs landscape design and site furnishings at Stanford including the preparation of campus plans, design guidelines, and campus standards. She provides input into and reviews all major capital project designs and develops conceptual designs for campus projects including: landscape plantings; malls; courtyards; plazas; vehicular, bike and pedestrian travel; and parking.

Eva Rose Leavitt

Campus Planner, University Architect/Campus Planning & Design
(650) 498-7662

  Eva supports the development of site and design guidelines for new buildings, landscape plans for small projects, implementation of campus furnishing and paving systems, and advocates for responsible stewardship of the land through sustainable design. She works with the Campus Landscape Architect on the implementation of outdoor infrastructure programs.

Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc.

Julie Muir  

Julie Muir

Community Relations Manager, PSSI / Stanford Recycling Center
(650) 321-4236 ext. 21

  Julie leads the construction and demolition waste diversion program and the food waste collection and composting program. She also continues to expand the campus recycling services. She advocates for a zero waste campus through a comprehensive program of waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and sustainable purchasing. Julie has lead over 20 audits of campus trash to provide the Stanford community with meaningful data to improve targeted waste reduction.

School of Earth Sciences

Patrick Archie  

Patrick Archie

Farm Program Director, Lecturer
(510) 289-1595

  Patrick is a Lecturer in the Earth Systems and Environmental Earth System Science departments in the School of Earth Sciences. He teaches courses in sustainable agriculture and is leading the development of the Stanford Educational Farm (SEF). Patrick currently manages the Earth Systems student education plot at the Stanford Community Farm and uses it for hands-on instruction in food production and farm management.


Founded in 2007, the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) brings together Utilities Services, Parking & Transportation Services, Business Services, and the Office of Sustainability under one roof within the Land, Buildings and Real Estate (LBRE) operational organization.