Yale Center for Business and Environment Advisory Board Welcomes Three New Members

The Yale Center for Business and Environment advisory board has added three members to its group.


Yale Daily News

Three Yale graduates who joined the advisory board of the Yale Center for Business and Environment, a joint program between the Yale School of Environment and the School of Management, first met as part of the group on December 3.

The Center for Business and Environment, or CBEY, announced in mid-November the three new additions to its advisory board. Alexandra Cooley ENV ’12 SOM ’12 joins the organization with a background in sustainable finance as Director of Investments at Greenworks Lending de Nuveen. Nicole W. Sitaraman ’00 comes with a background in consumer empowerment in the energy sector and as Vice President of External Affairs and Policy at Sustainable Capital Advisors. Sofie Beckham ENV ’02 is the Director of Sustainability at International Paper Company with a focus on sustainability and manufacturing on the Board of Directors.

“There is so much fantastic work happening at Yale at the intersection of clean energy and finance, from lectures and initiatives to case studies and publications,” Cooley wrote in an e- mail to News. “I hope to serve as a resource for the incredibly talented people at the University who work in space.”

While at Yale, Cooley participated in a joint graduate program between the School of the Environment and the School of Management. In her first year, she joined CBEY and helped plan the inaugural Yale Clean Energy Conference. Upon completion of the joint program, Cooley embarked on a “non-traditional career path” with roles in government and finance, where clean energy finance products continue to gain momentum.

Accompanying one of the new hires on the advisory board is Sitaraman, who previously participated in CBEY as an expert on a panel titled “Clean Energy and the Post-COVID Workforce” in 2020.

“My work over the years has focused on consumer empowerment, equity and energy democracy, as these are fundamental elements of decarbonization and building a more resilient and modern network,” said Sitaraman wrote in an email to the News. “Inclusion is integral to energy and financial innovation, and I’m delighted to bring this perspective to the advisory board. I plan to bring my diverse network of colleagues and thought leaders to the Yale campus to inspire and challenge Yale students as future sustainability leaders.

Sitaraman first returned to Yale for CBEY in 2019 to speak at a panel titled “Delivering Innovation for a Clean Energy Future”. She provided a preliminary contribution to the Yale Clean Energy Conference and will participate in other initiatives at Yale including Power and Race in Community, Business and the Environment, and Clean Energy Finance Forum.

Beckham is International Paper’s senior sustainability manager and was a guest speaker in a course at the School of the Environment last spring.

“We have a very diverse board to start with, both in terms of where people come from and where they are,” Beckham said. “The only thing missing is sort of the industrial sector, especially in the manufacturing sector. It’s easy to forget that many sustainability initiatives that the private sector implements look different depending on where you are in the value chain.

Beckham hopes his perspective in the manufacturing sector will enrich the centre’s work and engagement with students, while also including all players involved in the value chain.

All three members enjoyed their first meeting on the Advisory Board. The meeting included a talk given by Andrew Winston on his new book “Net Positive” followed by a focus group portion where members of the advisory group split up to discuss the conference.

The Yale Center for Business and Environment was established in 2006.


Hamera Shabbir covers women’s and men’s golf as a journalist. Originally from the Central Valley of California, she is a second year student at Branford College with a double major in political science and environmental studies.

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