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Who We Are

Center Leadership


Tensie Whelan, Director
Tensie Whelan
Tensie Whelan (NYU ‘80) is the Director of NYU Stern School of Business’s Center for Sustainable Business, where she is bringing her 25 years of experience working on local, national and international environmental and sustainability issues to engage businesses in proactive and innovative mainstreaming of sustainability. As President of the Rainforest Alliance, she built the organization from a $4.5 million to $50 million budget, transforming the engagement of business with sustainability, recruiting 5,000 companies in more than 60 countries to work with Rainforest Alliance.  She built the Rainforest Alliance frog into an internationally recognized and credible brand.  Her previous work included serving as Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, Vice President of the National Audubon Society, Managing Editor of Ambio, a journal of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a journalist in Latin America.  Tensie has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics, was the Citi Fellow in Leadership and Ethics at NYU Stern in 2015 and has served on numerous nonprofit boards and corporate advisory boards such as the Unilever Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board and the Nespresso Innovation Fund Advisory Board.  Tensie holds a B.A. from New York University, an M.A from American University, and is a graduate of the three-year Harvard Business School Owner President Management (OPM) Program.
 
CSB_Sophie Headshot
Sophie Waskow Rifkin, Associate Director
Sophie Waskow Rifkin
Sophie Waskow Rifkin has 10 years of experience working with organizations to grow and implement sustainability programs. As a member of the advisory services team at BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), Sophie worked with consumer sector companies to develop and implement sustainability strategies. Previously, she spent three years as a project manager at the George Washington University where she helped launch the university’s inaugural sustainability program. Sophie began her career in sustainability at the consulting firm, SustainAbility. She holds an MPA from George Washington University, and an A.B. in English from Brown University. Sophie is a member of the Pembroke Center Associates Council of Brown University and serves as a mentor in Brown Women’s Launch Pad program. 
 

Donors

Citi Foundation logo 180x122 Citi Foundation
The Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) is assisted in putting its vision into action through ​​generous support from​ the​ Citi Foundation.

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.
 

Advisory Board

Raphael Bemporad 124x160
Raphael Bemporad
Raphael Bemporad
Raphael Bemporad is the founding partner of BBMG. He is a passionate champion for a new approach to brand innovation that uses sustainability to create shared value. An expert in brand strategy, innovation strategy, CSR/cause marketing and public affairs, Raphael has created national campaigns, drafted public policy, designed consumer and nonprofit brands, managed cause-related partnerships and managed communications for local, state and federal elected officials. He received his BA in Philosophy with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
 
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David Chubak
David Chubak
David Chubak was named Citi's Global Head of Productivity in March 2013. For nearly a decade, David worked with leading global institutions and governments to shape their strategies, overhaul their operation and restructure their organizations. David earned a BA with honors from Columbia University and a JD from New York University School of Law. He is an active member of the New York community, lectures at industry events, and serves on the advisory boards of several New York organizations. He represents Citi as a Corporate Member on the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
Guilllaume Le Cunff 124x160
Guillaume Le Cunff
Guillaume Le Cunff
Guillaume Le Cunff is the President of Nespresso USA with headquarters in New York City. In addition to his Presidential duties, Guillaume has been appointed Chairman of the Nespresso Sustainable Development Fund announced in August 2014. Guillaume has been instrumental in creating shared value for society through Nespresso’s Ecolaboration™ mission. Guillaume began his career in audit and finance for various companies before joining the Finance and Control department of Nestlé Waters in 1998. Guillaume, a French native, holds an MBA in Business and Management.
 
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John D. Williams
John D. Williams (CSB Chair)
John D. Williams has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar since January 2009. He is also a member of the Board of Directors. John has over 30 years of experience in both consumer products and packaging. Prior to joining Domtar, he was President of SCA Packaging Europe. John is a member of the Board of Directors of Owens Corning, the Paper and Packaging Board Chairman (the Paper Check-off), and the past Chairman of the Board of the American Forest & Paper Association.
 
 

Advisors

Lee Ballin
Lee Ballin
Lee Ballin
Lee Ballin is the Head of Sustainable Business Programs at Bloomberg. The program integrates sustainability considerations into all firm operations and leverages the Bloomberg Professional service to evaluate sustainability-related investment risks and opportunities for its 300,000 customers. Lee graduated from Penn State University and received his MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. Lee is an alumnus of CORO Leadership New York and a Fellow in the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program.
John Cusack
John Cusack
John Cusack
John Cusack is the Founder/President of Gifford Park Associates (GPA), advising firms on integrating sustainability into business around the globe. Previously, he was startup CEO of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors; served as Chief Sustainability Officer of Light Green Advisors; and was a senior P&L leadership executive of new clean tech subsidiaries of Asea Brown Boveri, where he managed green R&D funding and commercialization projects. He has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and an MCE in Environmental Engineering & Science and BCE in Civil Engineering, both from Manhattan College.
Willy Foot_Root Capital
Willy Foote
Willy Foote
After working on Wall Street in Latin American corporate finance, Willy spent two years as a business journalist in Mexico. He founded Root Capital in 1999 to address the profound challenges faced by small and growing businesses in the developing world and help small-scale farmers and enterprising people build thriving agricultural businesses that help lift rural families out of poverty.
Markus Kalina
Markus Kalina
Markus Kalina
Markus Kalina is the Managing Director of Atalo Capital, a boutique asset manager focused on value investing. Prior to starting Atalo Capital, he worked at Deutsche Bank in New York focusing on institutional consulting and equity sales. He is a CFA Charterholder who received his BA from Occidental College and his MS in Financial Engineering from Claremont Graduate University. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.
 
CSB_Graham
Graham Macmillan
Graham Macmillan
Graham serves as Senior Program Officer for Impact Investing at the Ford Foundation. In this role, he is responsible for developing the team’s grant-making strategy and coordinating it closely with its program-related investment.
 
Prior to joining Ford, Graham was Director of Corporate Citizenship Partnerships at Citigroup. As director, Graham worked with Citi’s myriad businesses to drive economic and social impact with clients and other key stakeholders while contributing to Citi's broader citizenship reporting requirements. Graham received his BA from Colby College, MSc from NYU Wagner, and MBA through a joint program at NYU Stern, London School of Economics, and HEC Paris School of Management.
 
Lawrence Pratt
Lawrence Pratt
Lawrence Pratt
Lawrence Pratt is Senior Lecturer at INCAE Business School in Alajuela, Costa Rica where from 2010 to 2015 he was Director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS). He is founder and director of the Ecobanking Project and the Sustainable Markets Intelligence Center. Lawrence is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and holds a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Management.
Zac Russell
Zac Russell
Zac Russell
Zac Russell founded Russallo in 2013, a consulting practice focused on turning story into strategy for business development and communication plans. Zac is passionate about his community and serves as a community mediator with the New York Peace Institute. He also is an outspoken advocate for the next generation of leadership in foundations and new models for changing the world. He serves on the board of the foundation started by his grandparents.
Tommy Stadlen
Tommy Stadlen
Tommy Stadlen
Tommy Stadlen is a technology entrepreneur. He is the bestselling author of Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society. He is a former McKinsey consultant and previously worked for President Obama.  
Beth Steinberg Headshot
Beth Steinberg
Beth Steinberg
Beth has spent her career in financial services, first as an investment banker, and for the last several years in alternative investments. She is currently a Managing Director at Wesley Capital, a New York based investment manager/family office that specializes in real estate investing in both the public and private markets.  Beth is actively involved in both the professional and philanthropic communities and serves on various boards of both for profit and nonprofit entities. Beth has been a passionate agent of change throughout her life and at the age of 18, she founded the first comprehensive rape treatment center in Israel at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center outside of Tel Aviv.  Beth graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics.
 
Jim Tolisano
Jim Tolisano
Jim Tolisano
Over the past 25 years, Jim has designed and implemented natural resource and biodiversity conservation projects in more than 40 countries and integrated applied work in sustainable finance, conservation planning, conservation biology, and environmental education. He is also Adjunct Professor of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Studies at New York University.