Paul Storella, PE, Senior Vice President, Water Business Leader for Metro New York, AECOM

Paul leads strategy, growth, and operations for the New York Metro Water group at AECOM. The Water group provides planning, design, and construction/program management services for large-scale water and wastewater infrastructure projects throughout New York and New Jersey. In this capacity, he also provides executive oversight of key clients, including the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. In his more than 30-year career, Paul has worked on many significant water and wastewater projects, including the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant, the centerpiece of the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority’s program to protect Boston Harbor; the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center in Atlanta, a tertiary treatment facility; and the US Agency for International Development’s expansion of the wastewater collection system in Alexandria, Egypt.

Daniel A. Zarrilli, PE, Chief Climate Policy Advisor & OneNYC Director, NYC Office of the Mayor

As New York City’s Chief Climate Policy Advisor and OneNYC Director, Daniel is preparing America’s largest city for the future and delivering on New York City’s Green New Deal. Under Daniel’s leadership, New York City recently released its newest long-term strategic plan, OneNYC 2050, which includes bold actions to confront our climate crisis, achieve equity, and strengthen our democracy, demonstrating what a Green New Deal looks like in action. Since 2013, he has positioned New York City as the global leader in the fight against climate change. Notable successes include launching a comprehensive $20 billion climate adaptation program, aligning the city’s greenhouse gas reductions with the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement, committing to divest the City’s pension funds from fossil fuel reserve owners, suing fossil fuel companies for the damage caused by climate change, and committing to end the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure serving New York City.

Adriana Espinoza, Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice, NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs

As Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice in the Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs, Adriana is leading the execution of New York City’s first comprehensive study and plan for incorporating environmental justice into City decision-making processes. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, she spent three years as New York City Program Director at the New York League of Conservation Voters, where her primary focus was advocating to the Mayor and City Council for building a more sustainable city and investing in more aggressive climate action. During that time, she fought for many of the City’s biggest climate victories, including the Climate Mobilization Act, Commercial Waste Zones, and a historic $44 million investment in parks via the 2019Play Fair for Parks Campaign. Adriana has worked as an advocate and organizer for several national non-profits on issues ranging from voting rights and election reform to healthcare, in addition to her policy experience honed in the Texas Legislature. Adriana has a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, where her concentrations were policy and community administrative leadership.

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, Urban Strategist

Ibrahim is an urban strategist whose work focuses on deepening democracy and improving public engagement. He has advised two mayors on the best was to translate complex decisions related to the cost, impacts, and benefits of environmental policy and of capital projects on communities. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies on sustainability and innovation. Previously, Ibrahim developed tools to connect, train, and fund grassroots activists. Since 2018, Ibrahim has worked with governments, community-based organizations, and select corporate clients providing strategy and support around infrastructure policy, the land use process, strategies for climate adaptation, and resilience. He is the author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet and earned his Master of Public Administration at Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, where he now lectures.

Kandra Clark, Vice President of Policy & Strategy, Exodus Transitional Community

Kandra is Vice President of Policy and Strategy with Exodus Transitional Community, a preventative, reentry, and advocacy organization in East Harlem. Her primary roles include overseeing fundraising efforts and policy/advocacy initiatives. Kandra is a 2018 Leading with Conviction alumna with Just Leadership USA and a Close Rikers Campaign leader. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Community Justice Association, and is a Beyond Rosie’s Steering Committee member and leader. She is also a member of the Queens Neighborhood Advisory Council, and sits on the Board of Correction’s Task Force on Issues Faced by TGNCNBI People in Custody. Kandra received the Julio Medina Freedom Fighter Award in 2016, and was a 2018 New York Nonprofit Media 40 Under 40 Rising Star. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and Justice (summa cum laude), and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration.

Melissa Iachan, Senior Staff Attorney and Lobbyist Compliance Counsel, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Melissa is a Senior Staff Attorney in the Environmental Justice program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI). In this role, she advocates to improve access and equity for vulnerable, low-income communities and communities of color, particularly in circumstances that disproportionately impact those communities’ environmental and health conditions. Before joining NYLPI, Melissa worked for the New York City Mayor’s Office and Business Integrity Commission, developing expertise in regulatory law. Previously, she worked as a litigation associate in private practice in white-collar defense, complex civil litigation, and bankruptcy litigation. Melissa has experience in community organizing, political advocacy, government relations, and political strategy, which she combines in her advocacy work at NYLPI. Melissa received a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Lisa Giuffra Diaz, Managing Partner, Turf Advisory

As Founder and Managing Partner of Turf Advisory, a WBE smart infrastructure advisory firm specializing in the built space, transportation, water, and waste, Lisa provides public- and private-sector clients with strategic advice on designing, financing, and managing next-generation infrastructure. Prior to her focus on urban innovation, Lisa was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs where she managed key, firmwide relationships among global hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and large mutual fund complexes. Lisa is a board member of the Regional Plan Association and member of its New York Committee; the Smart Infrastructure Executive-in-Residence at the Baker Program in Real Estate, Cornell University; Guest Lecturer, Cornell Tech; a committee chair for Westchester Climate Crisis Taskforce; a member of the Steering Committee of NY Blue Tech; a member of the Smart Cities NY Advisory Board; and a board member for The Boys and Girls Club of Mount Vernon.

Paul F. Levy, Former Executive Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Paul has had a varied career in infrastructure planning and development, environmental policy, and healthcare. He previously served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and Director of the Arkansas Department of Energy. At the MWRA, Paul had primary responsibility for the “Boston Harbor Cleanup,” one of the largest pollution control projects in the world. From 2002 to 2011, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and prior to that, was the Executive Dean for Administration at Harvard Medical School. Paul was Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy at MIT, where he taught infrastructure planning and development, environmental policy, and negotiation for seven years. He is currently Senior Advisor at Lax Sebenius, LLC, a negotiation strategy and capability-building firm. He previously served as a board member of ISO-New England, Legal Sea Foods, the MIT Corporation, the Risk Management Foundation, and Providence Energy Corporation.

Vincent Sapienza, PE, Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

Since joining the NYC Department of Environmental Protection in 1983, Vinny has dedicated his career to protecting and improving New York City’s critical water infrastructure. Prior to his current role as Commissioner, he served in two senior positions within the agency, first managing the Bureau of Wastewater Treatment from 2009 to 2014, and then heading the Bureau of Engineering, Design and Construction until June 2016. Vinny is a New York State Licensed Professional Engineer and holds a B.S. from Columbia and an MBA from Hofstra.

Beverley M. Stinson, PhD, Executive Vice President & Water Business Leader, AECOM

In addition to running the Water group, Beverley also serves as Director of Applied Research and Innovation, developing cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions to address emerging issues. Beverley has extensive experience developing strategic roadmaps for large, complex wastewater plants, and is currently working on some of the most progressive programs in the world, including those for Baltimore, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Melbourne. As Research Director, she helps identify and advance promising technologies and treatment concepts that offer better performance at reduced cost and less operational complexity. She is currently working on the first sidestream deammonification plant to treat thermally hydrolyzed filtrate at Blue Plains in Washington, DC; the first, large-scale mainstream deammonification demonstration plant in the world in Singapore; and the largest aerobic granular sludge plant in Hong Kong. Beverley has served as a Principal Investigator and Technical Contributor for the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) on numerous projects and also serves on WERF’s Research Council.

Costa Constantinides, New York City Council Member, District 22, Queens

Costa represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria as well as Rikers Island, parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside, and East Elmhurst. As chair of the Environmental Protection Committee since 2015, he has been committed to fighting the effects of climate change and keeping it from forever changing New York City’s landscape. Sustainability, resiliency, and air quality have been among Costa’s top environmental issues long before he was sworn in. Growing up in western Queens meant seeing power plants go up in Astoria and Long Island City—often next to public housing—despite unified opposition from the community. As a volunteer after Sandy struck the area in 2012, Costa saw first-hand what the storm did to the most vulnerable citizens. In April 2019, Costa led the effort to pass the Climate Mobilization Act, the largest carbon emissions reduction ever mandated by any city in the world. The eight-bill package tackled greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings, made the first step toward closing fossil fuel power plants, and required green roofs on new buildings.

Marianna Koval, Director, Invest NYC SDG, NYU Stern School of Business, Center for Sustainable Business

Marianna is the Director of Invest NYC SDG, an NYU Stern initiative to engage the private sector and drive financing toward creating a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient New York City using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as a framework. She has more than 25 years of experience working in environmental sustainability, public policy, and government in New York City. A lawyer, Marianna has successfully taken on complex multi-stakeholder projects, difficult policy challenges, and brought people together. She served as the senior advisor to the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), building green infrastructure policy and partnerships in a $2.4 billion stormwater management program. Prior to working at DEP, Marianna was president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy for more than a decade, where she helped develop the vision, attract the initial $280 million in funding, and design construction of this major city park. She holds an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a JD from Fordham University Law School, and an AB from Princeton University.

Pam Elardo, PE, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

Pam is the Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, which treats 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater daily. Previously, she directed the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, one of the largest public wastewater utilities on the West Coast. Pam also implemented the Clean Water Act with the Washington State Department of Ecology, and has worked internationally with the Peace Corps, Living Earth Institute, and other non-profits. She holds a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. Pam is a licensed Professional Engineer and certified Group IV Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator.

Paul Gallay, President, Riverkeeper

Paul and the Riverkeeper team work to protect the Hudson River and the drinking water supplies for nine million New Yorkers. An attorney and educator, Paul has dedicated himself to the environmental movement since 1987, when he left the private practice of law and went to work for the New York State Attorney General. In 1990, Paul began a ten-year stint at New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, where he brought hundreds of corporate and government polluters to justice. Paul subsequently spent a decade in the land conservation movement before becoming Riverkeeper’s President in 2010. Paul is a graduate of Williams College and Columbia Law School and has held a number of teaching positions, including his current appointment with the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Shino Tanikawa, Executive Director, NYC Soil & Water Conservation District

As the Executive Director of the New York City Soil & Water Conservation District, Shino oversees the District’s stormwater, environmental education, and urban soils programs. She currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Stormwater Infrastructure Matters (SWIM) Coalition, advises the leadership team of the NY/NJ Harbor & Estuary Program Citizens Advisory Committee, and is a founding member of the NYC Urban Soils Institute. She has a Master of Science degree in Marine Environmental Sciences from the Marine Sciences Research Center at Stony Brook University.

Carol T. Walczyk, PE, PMP, Director, Water Quality & Compliance, SUEZ North America

Carol is the Director of Water Quality and Compliance for SUEZ North America. In that role, she oversees water quality and regulatory compliance for approximately 90 drinking water and wastewater systems in six states, and collaborates with SUEZ’s contract operations, research, and manufacturing divisions around the world. Prior to joining SUEZ, Carol had a 30-year career in the civil engineering consulting industry, performing planning, design, construction management, and advisory services for drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure. She is a licensed professional engineer in New York and New Jersey, and certified project management professional. A New York City native who graduated from the Cooper Union, Carol grew up visiting many NYC wastewater treatment plants with her father, a career NYC Department of Environmental Protection engineer.

Elizabeth Broad, Director, New Yorkers for Clean Power

Betta is the Director of New Yorkers for Clean Power, a statewide campaign to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of Earth Day New York for five years, organizing the major Earth Day festivals in New York City, and in 2011 began working full-time on the campaign to ban fracking in New York State. She is a co-founder of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance, serves on the boards of Citizens for Local Power, and Brooklyn for Peace, and was appointed to the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, Kingston Climate Smart Commission, and the Ulster County Climate Smart Committee. She is a native New Yorker and longtime advocate for social justice, peace, and sustainability.

Susanne E. DesRoches, Deputy Director, Infrastructure and Energy, NYC Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

As the Deputy Director for Infrastructure and Energy at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Susanne is responsible for the City’s energy policy and regulatory affairs at the local, state, and federal levels. She directs the City’s efforts to transition to 100% clean electricity by 2040 as well as to adapt regional infrastructure systems to climate change. Susanne leads the NYC Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which works to identify climate risks and coordinate adaptation strategies, and oversees the development of the NYC Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines. She is a chapter author for the fourth National Climate Assessment. Susanne was previously Chief of Resilience and Sustainability for the Engineering Department at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. Susanne is on the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Professional Studies.

Dan Hendrick, Head of External Affairs for the East Region, Clearway, & President, New York Solar Energy Industries Association

Paul and the Riverkeeper team work to protect the Hudson River and the drinking water supplies for nine million New Yorkers. An attorney and educator, Paul has dedicated himself to the environmental movement since 1987, when he left the private practice of law and went to work for the New York State Attorney General. In 1990, Paul began a ten-year stint at New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, where he brought hundreds of corporate and government polluters to justice. Paul subsequently spent a decade in the land conservation movement before becoming Riverkeeper’s President in 2010. Paul is a graduate of Williams College and Columbia Law School and has held a number of teaching positions, including his current appointment with the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Zhiyong Jason Ren, PhD, Acting Director, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, & Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University

Jason is a professor of Environmental Engineering at Princeton University and the Acting Director of the Andlinger Center, whose singular mission is to develop technologies and solutions to secure our energy and environmental future. Jason leads the Princeton Water & Energy Technologies Lab, in which members work on the Water-Energy Nexus, especially in areas of energy and resource recovery during environmental processes, such as wastewater treatment and reuse, water desalination, remediation, and carbon capture and utilization. They use electrochemistry, microbiology, and system engineering tools to understand the fundamental determinant factors of the systems to enhance design, operation, and monitoring in concert with traditional approaches. Jason has published more than 140 journal articles, filed eight patents, and co-founded a successful startup. He teaches courses in environmental microbiology, treatment processes, and resource recovery for a circular economy.