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Discover Stanford for You: Accelerating Solutions for Global Sustainability

Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability:


How do Stanford researchers collaborate with partners to solve some of our most pressing sustainability problems? This program highlights the high-impact work of Stanford faculty who are working with partners locally and globally to tackle urgent planetary challenges.

This September, the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability launched as the university’s first new school in 75 years. A key feature of the new school is its sustainability accelerator, which seeks to develop near-term policy and technology solutions to global needs in sustainability. Learn how Stanford faculty from across the university are working alongside practitioners to co-create and scale solutions for climate and sustainability challenges that threaten people globally. This virtual event was co-sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies and Stanford Office of External Relations.


Jennifer Cochran
Professor and Chair of Bioengineering, and, by courtesy, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Stanford

Jennifer Cochran is the Shriram Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. She is a Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, Chemical Engineering and a member of the Cancer Biology, Biophysics, and Immunology graduate programs. Dr. Cochran also serves as the Director of the Stanford/NIH Biotechnology pre-doctoral training program and Director of the Protein Therapeutics Initiative of the Stanford Innovative Medicines Accelerator. Dr. Cochran's interests span protein-based drug discovery and development for applications in oncology and regenerative medicine and leveraging synthetic biology tools to create solutions to address climate change. She and her research group have invented numerous molecules that have been licensed to public and private biotech companies, including an engineered protein currently in Phase III clinical trials for treating ovarian cancer. She has also launched several biotechnology companies and held a variety of leadership roles in these organizations while on leave from Stanford. Leveraging this experience, she co-developed the Stanford Faculty Entrepreneurial Leadership Program and mentors Stanford faculty, students, and postdocs on technology transfer and life science company formation.

Georgia Farooq
Executive Director at Thrive Alliance

Georgia is a passionate nonprofit executive with experience leading bold change throughout all life cycles of an organization. She has served as Executive Director of Thrive Alliance for over six years, where she leads a cross-sector network of nonprofit, public sector, and private sector leaders working together to strengthen the community. Georgia serves as a board member for the Palo Alto Community Fund and as a founding board member for Leadership Council San Mateo County. She is on the Advisory Council for AbilityPath, an advisor for the SF Urban Film Festival, and a graduate of Leadership San Mateo. Georgia is an American Leadership Forum (ALF) Senior Fellow and a graduate of ALF Class XLI. Back East, Georgia was a founding board member for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and she ran the Center for Nonprofit Management at Stonehill College for seven years. Georgia has her M.B.A. from Boston University and a B.A. from Wellesley College. She lives in Redwood City with her husband Armaghan and their preschooler son Keyaan, who enjoys outrunning her and participating in her Zoom sessions!

Nikita Khlystov
Postdoc & Entrepreneur-in-Training, Stanford Bioengineering

Dr. Nikita A. Khlystov is a postdoc and entrepreneur-in-training in Professor Jennifer Cochran’s lab in the Stanford Bioengineering department. He is training biology to find and break down the plastic locked away in everyday consumer waste, allowing brand-new plastic to be made without using oil while enabling access to the remaining materials for reuse and recycling. Nikita obtained his PhD at Stanford and did his undergrad at MIT, both in chemical engineering. His PhD dissertation work involved engineering enzymes from mushrooms to break down wood into chemicals typically derived from oil. He was a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Stanford Graduate Fellowship, and Accel Innovation Scholarship.

Dr. Arun Majumdar
Dean, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, Jay Precourt Professor, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, of Energy Science and Engineering, of Photon Science and Senior Fellow, by courtesy, at the Hoover Institution, Stanford

Dr. Majumdar served in the Obama administration as the Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) and as the Acting Under Secretary of Energy. He served as a Science Envoy for the US Department of State and currently serves as the Chair of the US Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. Dr. Majumdar was also the Vice President for Energy at Google and advises numerous business in the energy innovation ecosystem. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1985 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.

Jenny Suckale
Assistant Professor of Geophysics and, by courtesy, of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Stanford; Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Jenny Suckale is an assistant professor of geophysics. Her research focuses on understanding disaster risk and resilience. She approaches this challenge both from a fundamental point of view by advancing our understanding of the processes that govern extreme events in different natural systems, and from an applied point of view by working with private and public partners to increase community resilience using a scientific co-production approach. Her current research priorities span natural hazards like volcanic eruptions, climate hazards such as ice-sheet instability and permafrost disintegration, and hazards that arise from the interaction between natural processes and human interventions such as flooding in urban areas and induced earthquakes. She was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Michael Wara
Senior Research Scholar, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Interim Director of Policy, Sustainability Accelerator, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
Michael Wara is a lawyer and scholar focused on climate and energy policy. Wara is Director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program and a senior research scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, where he provides fact-based, bipartisan, technical and legal assistance to policymakers engaged in the development of novel climate and energy law and regulation. He also facilitates the connection of Stanford faculty with cutting edge policy debates on climate and energy, leveraging Stanford’s energy and climate expertise to craft real-world solutions to these challenges. Wara’s legal and policy scholarship focuses on carbon pricing, energy innovation, and regulated industries. He collaborates with economists, engineers, and scientists in research on the design and evaluation of technical and regulatory solutions to climate and energy challenges. He is also an expert on international environmental law with a particular focus on the ozone and climate treaty regimes.


For any questions regarding community engagement, please email: [email protected]. For questions regarding registration for the virtual live event, please email: [email protected]. Thank you!

If you need a disability-related accommodation, please contact the Diversity & Access Office at [email protected] or 650.725.0326 (phone) by October 12, 2022. 


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