Campus & Community

First class of Ruffolo Fellows introduced at Kennedy School ceremony

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A ceremony was held Sept. 21 at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG) announcing the establishment of the Giorgio Ruffolo Fellowships in Sustainability Science and introducing the first Ruffolo Fellows to the Harvard community.

The fellowship program honors the legacy of Giorgio Ruffolo, Italy’s first minister of the environment (1987-92), who worked to build Italian and European Union environmental programs and encouraged many young Italians to pursue environmental careers.

The Ruffolo Fellowships are a critical component of a large gift provided by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea announced earlier this year to create a fund for sustainable development to support programs that foster shared prosperity and reduce poverty while protecting the environment.

Members of the first class of Ruffolo Fellows are as follows:

Krister Andersson is an assistant professor in environmental policy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His work focuses on issues related to the use of biophysical indicators in policy analysis, and the ways in which such transdisciplinary research influences human decision making in different contexts. His work on the politics of environmental governance focuses on the policy domains of forestry policy reforms in developing countries and international climate change mitigation strategies.

Michael Burns is project manager for South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s new sustainability science program. The program focuses on the translation of key sustainability science concepts into useful analytical frameworks; competency building in complexity theory, transdisciplinarity and communication between multiple knowledge systems; and resilience analysis across the social-ecological system continuum. Burns has managed environmental impact assessments of oil and gas projects in the offshore environment of Central and West Africa.

Marcel Bursztyn is a Giorgio Ruffolo Research Fellow in Sustainability Science in the Sustainability Science Program at the Center for International Development (CID) and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and a Fulbright Visiting Senior Scholar. He is founder and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the University of Brasilia, the major graduate center on sustainable development in Brazil that has granted more than 70 doctorates and 250 master’s degrees during the past 11 years. He has 30 years’ experience including extensive work in the design of environmental projects in the Brazilian Amazon and northeast regions.

Fred Carden is a research fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at CID and director of the evaluation unit of the International Development Research Centre in Canada. He has written in the areas of evaluation, international cooperation, and environmental management. Current work includes assessment of the influence of research on public policy, and the development of use-oriented evaluation tools and methods. Recent co-publications include “Outcome Mapping” and “Evaluating Capacity Development.” He has taught and carried out research at York University, the Cooperative College of Tanzania, and the University of Indonesia.

Lorenzo Casaburi is a doctoral candidate in the Economics Department at Harvard University. He is currently working on several randomized evaluations that examine the effects of an increase in the water quantity available for households in rural and periurban areas. Casaburi has worked as a research evaluation consultant at the Poverty Action Lab at MIT and for several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Kenya focusing on the evaluation of health and education interventions. His research interests also include international trade.

Daniele Cesano is the founder of CO2nnect, a project development consultancy based in Italy. He is also capacity-building coordinator with the Brazilian section of SouthSouthNorth, an NGO that builds capacity in developing countries on adaptation and mitigation projects to climate change. He has worked with the New York office of Arup, a sustainable architecture and engineering firm, and has consulted on water resources and renewable energy in different countries. Cesano was an adjunct professor in environmental engineering at Columbia University and lectured at the University of Pennsylvania on sustainable design.

Adam Henry is a doctoral candidate with the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on collaborative land-use and transportation planning in California. Differences over normative beliefs and values often drive political conflict in planning efforts, limiting the potential of planning processes to achieve sustainable outcomes. Henry applies two theoretical frameworks, the advocacy coalition framework and institutional analysis and development, to better understand why this occurs and what can be done about it. In particular, he focuses on how belief systems influence the structure of social networks in planning processes, and how these networks affect learning and agreement.

Brooke Kelsey Jack is a doctoral candidate in the Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government. She is interested in incentive-based conservation, with a focus on the design of incentive mechanisms to shape household decision making related to natural resources in developing countries. She has conducted fieldwork on auctions for the allocation of conservation contracts in Indonesia, implemented by the World Agroforestry Centre. Her research draws on experimental economics, game theory, and behavioral economics in examining individual decision making. The focus is on incentive mechanisms and behavioral change in public goods situations in East Africa and Southeast Asia.

Godstime James is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where he was a Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellow (2006) and is currently a Dissertation Research Fellow. His major discipline is geosciences with an emphasis on applied remote sensing and geographic information science. His doctoral program codiscipline is economics with an emphasis on ecological economics and natural resources management. His dissertation research focuses on human-environment interactions and their socioeconomic impacts in coastal areas with emphasis on the mangrove ecological zone in Nigeria.

Carolyn Kousky is a doctoral fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at CID and the Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University. She is a doctoral candidate in the Public Policy Program at KSG. Kousky is involved in two areas of research. The first is anthro-natural disasters, or those disasters that are a product of both human actions and natural events. Her dissertation research focuses on flooding as an example of these types of disasters. She is also interested in public policies to provide ecosystem services. She has looked at local governments in the United States that are investing in natural capital to provide flood mitigation and water purification and is now studying the design of payments for ecosystem services.

Ann Laudati is a Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Fellow in Sustainability Science in the Sustainability Science Program at CID. Her work focuses on natural resource politics, community conservation, and local welfare to investigate how the environment has been implicated in the continuing conflicts in southern Sudan, northern Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She trained as a human-environmental geographer with specializations in political ecology, conservation and development, and sub-Saharan Africa. Her research centers on the intersection between natural resource use and social welfare, focusing on the implications of global processes on local livelihoods within African communities.

Jessica Leino is a doctoral candidate in the Economics Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies how to design institutions that improve the provision of local public goods. She is collecting data from a randomized evaluation in rural Kenya to examine how the participation of women in management committees may improve local management of water and other resources. Leino has previously worked as a researcher at the Brookings Institution and as a project evaluation consultant in East Africa for the World Bank and several NGOs.

Kira Matus is an EPA STAR graduate fellow and a doctoral candidate in the Public Policy Program in the Sustainability Science Program at the Kennedy School of Government. Her research focuses on the application of innovative technology to address sustainable development. She is working with the Green Chemistry Institute to explore the potential of green chemistry as a “leapfrog” technology in the United States, India, and China. Matus received an S.M. in technology and policy from MIT in 2005. While at MIT, she was a research assistant in the Joint Program for the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Elizabeth McNie is a doctoral candidate in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she was a research assistant at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. McNie explores how to improve the utility of scientific information in decision making and the institutional design and social capital needed for forging effective linkages between scientists and decision makers. Her doctoral research explores how scientists and policymakers jointly produce useful short-term climate information in a variety of natural resource and public health arenas.

Suerie Moon is a predoctoral fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at CID and a doctoral candidate in the Public Policy Program at KSG. Her research interests include the ways in which civil society organizations (CSOs) shape policymaking at the global level, and the accountability relationships that develop between and among CSOs and global public institutions. She also works on analyzing the relationship between access to medicines, innovation, and intellectual property rights policies, and the implications for equity in public health in the developing world. Moon is currently a contributor to the Institutional Innovations for Linking Knowledge with Action in Global Health Project.

Esther Mwangi is a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. She will explore the dynamic interaction between property rights, rangeland sustainability, and pastoral livelihoods in the Kajiado District of Southwestern Kenya. Her research interests include the role of institutions in fostering sustainable natural resource management and improving local livelihoods, land rights, and the politics of policymaking in natural resources management and conservation. Mwangi was previously a consultant to the World Agroforestry Center and to Oxfam’s pastoralism program in East/Horn of Africa.

Massimiliano Santini is a Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in the Master in Public Administration in International Development Program at KSG. His interest and course work focus on the links between development and politics and how they can target the challenges of sustainable development. In the summer of 2007, he worked in the government of Kenya and analyzed the implementation of Vision 2030, the country’s long-term development plan. Santini started his career as financial analyst in London, where he worked at Baring Asset Management. He later managed the Treasury Department at IFT International. While at the European Commission Delegation of the U.N., he worked on regular and peacekeeping budget reform.

Kate Emans Sims is a doctoral fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at CID and at the Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Political Economy and Government, which is jointly supported by the KSG and the economics and government departments. Her work explores how institutions and policies shape the interaction between land conservation and economic development outcomes. Her primary dissertation research considers how protected forest areas have affected village and subdistrict economic growth in Thailand. In addition, she is working on projects about the effectiveness of local policies and politics for preserving green space in Massachusetts.

Nicole Szlezák is a doctoral fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at CID and a doctoral candidate in the Public Policy Program at Harvard University. Her work focuses on institutions and governance in global health. She is also interested in institutional arrangements to foster drug development and delivery for diseases that receive little attention in terms of research and development. These include infectious diseases that mainly affect developing countries (such as malaria and river blindness) as well as rare diseases that occur in many locations. Together with William Clark, Szlezák leads the Institutional Innovations for Linking Knowledge with Action in Global Health Project.

Gloria Visconti is a Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Program at the KSG. Her research is on how European countries and the EU are thinking about biofuels, including related policy and trade issues. She was a research fellow at CID and chief of staff for the director general of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea. She has been engaged in international negotiations relating to the Johannesburg Summit and the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development, as well as bilateral cooperation agreements, including Italy-Iraq on the restoration of the marshlands. Prior to working for the ministry, she worked at the European Commission on project evaluation.