USSEE Board of Directors

  • Jim Kahn President

    KahnJim75_092508_015 Jim Kahn is an environmental and ecological economist, and a founding member of USSEE. He received his PhD in environmental economics from the University of Maryland in 1981, studying under one of the leaders of the original ecological economics movement, John Cumberland. He is a past Secretary/Treasurer of USSEE. Jim Kahn is the John Hendon Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, and the Director of the Environmental Studies Program there. He has been a faculty member at the Center for Environmental Science and the Graduate Program in Tropical Fishery Science at the Federal University of Amazonas (Brazil) since 1992. Past positions include SUNY-Binghamton (now Binghamton University) from 1980-1991 and a joint appointment at the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1991-2000. He has over 150 publications (including 9 in Ecological Economics). Kahn has co-authors from diverse fields including ecology, chemistry, engineering, political science, hydrology, and fishery science. He held a Fulbright Scholarship in Brazil in 2001. Kahn has received numerous teaching awards including a SUNY-system-wide award for teaching excellence, and an Outstanding Faculty award from the Virginia State Council of Higher Education. Research interests focus on global climate change policy, sustainable development in remote regions, Amazonian issues, fishery management, causes of deforestation, economic incentives for preservation, and environmental valuation. Kahn has received research funding from NOAA, USEPA, US Department of Education, NYDEC, Mellon Foundation, CNPq (the Brazilian National Science Foundation) and the State of Amazonas, among other agencies.

  • Jonathan M. Harris Past President

    Photo of Jonathan M. Harris Jonathan M. Harris is Director of the Theory and Education Program at the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute. His publications include “Green Keynesianism: Beyond Standard Growth Paradigms” in Robert Richardson ed., Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics (2013); “Reorienting Macroeconomic Theory towards Environmental Sustainability” in Jon Erickson and John Gowdy eds., Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application (2007); co-editor of Twenty-First Century Macroeconomics: Responding to the Climate Challenge (2009); co-author of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach (4th ed., 2017); Macroeconomics in Context, Microeconomics in Context, and Principles of Economics in Context (2014); Environmental and Social Issues in Economics (Encyclopedia of Earth http://www.eoearth.org, 2006); co-editor of New Thinking in Macroeconomics: Social, Institutional and Environmental Perspectives (2003); A Survey of Sustainable Development (2001); A Survey of Ecological Economics (1995); Human Well-Being and Economic Goals (1997); editor of Rethinking Sustainability: Power, Knowledge, and Institutions (2000). He has taught courses in environmental economics and sustainable development at Tufts University, Brown University, and Boston University. He has been active with USSEE since its inception, and served on the boards of USSEE and ISEE, and believes that USSEE has the potential to expand its reach both in trans-disciplinary research and in efforts to reform the teaching of economics and other fields to reflect ecological realities.

  • John A. Sorrentino Secretary-Treasurer

    Photo of John A. Sorrentino John A. Sorrentino is Associate Professor of Economics at Temple University. He was a co-founder of Temple University’s Environmental Studies Program, and was honored by the University with a 1999 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Most of his publications and consulting work have involved the micro-economics of energy and the environment, and have appeared in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Environmental Economics & Management, Environmental Management, and Landscape & Urban Planning. His works-in-progress include such topics as sustainable housing placement, environmental information systems, sustainable business practices, urban agriculture, and using environmental and health amenities to offset wealth inequality. John was a charter member of USSEE, is a member of the Scientific Committee organizing the 2015 Biennial Conference, and looks forward to having a direct hand in the Society as Secretary-Treasurer. Carefully documenting the operational and financial activities of any organization is important, and USSEE is no exception. The period of damage-control is over, and the future should bring stability and growth. John received his B.B.A. from Baruch College of the City University of New York and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University, all in economics.

  • Tania Briceno Member at Large

    TaniaBricenoPicTania Briceno received her PhD from Université de Montréal where she specialized in ecosystem service valuation and the integration of ecological epistemology. She was mentored by Dr. Sigrid Stagl in the field of Ecological Economics at University of Leeds where she received her Master’s Degree and worked extensively on the topic of sustainable consumption systems. Her undergraduate degree is in Economics and International Development from McGill University. Tania currently works as lead team economist for a Washington-based non-profit, Earth Economics, leading the organization’s Louisiana projects on coastal restoration and community resilience. She also leads work on the economics of outdoor recreation and the valuation of ecosystem services for international court cases. Prior to joining Earth Economics, she worked with the Canadian federal government on climate change adaptation in the Northern Territories and with the City of Montreal on ecosystem service based land-use planning. She also worked with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on the use of life-cycle assessment tools and input-output modeling for sustainable transport policy.

  • Erin Lennox Member at Large

    Photo of Erin Lennox Erin Lennox is a 2014 graduate of the PhD program in Ecological Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her doctoral research focused on the impact of climate change and globalization on peasant agriculture in the Mexican Yucatan and Peruvian Andes and has been published in Ecosystem Services and Society and Natural Resources. Her current research is focused on ecosystem conservation and conservation education in the Yucatan. Right now she is postponing the search for a full time academic position to spend time taking care of her one year old son. In the meantime, Erin serves as an adjunct professor of economics at various universities in New York’s Capital Region, and is doing grant writing and consulting work for environmental and education related non-profit organizations in the area. She also works with the organization Engineers for a Sustainable World, helping to incorporate sustainability into engineering education, and serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Developing Sustainable Societies. In addition to her recent ecological economics degree, Erin also holds a bachelors and masters degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is currently involved in a number of K-12 STEM education projects and initiatives.

  • Maria Claudia Lopez Member at Large

    Maria_2Maria Claudia Lopez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. She is an economist specializing in natural resources management, environmental economics, experimental economics and collective action. Her research uses multiple methods – including field experiments from behavioral economics, institutional analysis, econometrics, ethnography and participatory research – to understand how rural communities can collaborate successfully in the management of commonly held natural resources and to implement agriculture practices that will benefit a group of farmers. She has done research in Colombia, Spain, Peru, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Uganda and Rwanda.Her work in progress includes studying how payments for environmental services may change the users intrinsic motivations to conserve their natural resources. In addition, she is also is studying the coffee sector in Rwanda and the incentives and disincentives in managing the crop. She is starting work on a project in Brazil looking at the effects of hydroelectric dams on fisher’s communities.

  • Regina Ostergaard-Klem Member at Large

    Photo of Regina Ostergaard-KlemRegina Ostergaard-Kelm is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science in the College of Natural and Computational Sciences at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in Honolulu, Hawaii. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, and both an MS in Environmental Engineering and a PhD in Systems Analysis and Economics for Public Decision Making from The Johns Hopkins University. From 1994-1995, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Lodz, Poland. After completing graduate school, Ostergaard-Klem was a Science and Diplomacy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC. Prior to coming to HPU, she worked as an environmental policy advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). There she managed urban environmental and energy projects throughout different regions of the world. At HPU, Dr. Ostergaard-Klem teaches in both the undergraduate level Environmental Science/Studies program and the master’s program in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development, for which she is also the Program Director. Her teaching is concentrated in the fields of ecological economics, sustainable human systems, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. Her most recent research efforts are focused on the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a framework for evaluating social welfare as a supplement to Gross Domestic Product. She is a co-developer of “GPI Island Style,” the application of GPI at the state level in Hawaii. As an extension of that work, Ostergaard-Klem collaborates with partners across the state on several initiatives, including efforts to develop a state sustainability dashboard.

  • Madhavi Venkatesan Member at Large

    Photo of Madhavi VenkatesanMadhavi Venkatesan‘s present academic interests are specific to the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum and she is currently pursuing scholarly interests in sustainable development. Prior to re-entering academics, Madhavi held senior level positions in investor relations for three Fortune 250 companies. In this capacity she was a principal point of contact for investors and stakeholders and was instrumental in the development of socially responsible investing strategies and corporate social responsibility reporting. Madhavi started her financial services career after completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned a PhD, MA, and BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She is the author of Economic Principles: A Primer, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and forthcoming Foundations in Microeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and Foundations in Macroeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices. She has authored numerous chapters and journal articles, as well as participated in a TEDx and EconEd program. Her work is focused on conscious consumption, the role of economic education in promoting sustainability, and sustainable economic development. In addition to her academic interests, she writes a monthly column, Globally Local, for the Cape Codder, the newspaper of the Cape and Islands (Massachusetts). Madhavi was recently granted the Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturing Award to the Philippines where she will give lectures in the host country on sustainable economic development in early 2018.

  • Joe Ament Student Representative

    Photo of Joe AmentAfter spending 7 years in corporate strategy in both the for- and non-profit sectors, he spent 3 years writing about the ecological and economic problems we now face. In the Rubenstein School, Joe’s research examines Monetary Theory in the context of socioecological stability. His interests lie in how economic rent and modern monetary systems affect social justice and environmental degradation; and how a socioecologically-resilient society will use money and distribute wealth. Outside of reading and writing, Joe loves to kayak, bike slowly, paint, and listen to Stevie Wonder.

Transforming the Economy for a Just and Sustainable World