15 April 2024 • Sustainability Climate Neutrality: Where Do We Go From Here?

Coinciding with HWS’ announcement of net zero emissions, the President’s Forum Series welcomed four alumni to discuss the climate neutrality efforts and the future of climate change. The event also featured a special message from former Vice President Al Gore.

This semester, the Hobart and William Smith community marked a critical milestone in its commitment to environmental sustainability: as of January, HWS is climate neutral.

Jamey Mulligan

Jamey Mulligan '07, a senior scientist at Amazon, joined the conversation virtually. 

To celebrate this achievement, the President’s Forum Series  hosted “Leading the Way: Innovations and Initiatives for Climate Neutrality,” which included a video message from climate activist and former Vice President Al Gore and a panel discussion featuring:

  • Clancy Brown ’09, a science educator who as a student initiated the effort that led HWS to become a charter member of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment;
  • Tom Drennen, the Stine Family Chair of Management and Entrepreneurship, who has helped lead campus sustainability efforts and propelled the growth of the Entrepreneurial Studies program, the Management and Entrepreneurship program, and the Master of Science in Management program; 
  • Dan Gadigian ’11, a vice president at Cerberus Capital Management who contributed to HWS sustainability research evaluating demand for alternative transportation options;
  • Jamie Landi ’08, who served as the first sustainability manager at HWS and is now a partner at Mohawk Lifts LLC; and
  • Jamey Mulligan ’07, a senior scientist at Amazon who serves as the technical and strategy lead on the company’s carbon neutralization team. 

The President’s Forum event was held at 7 p.m. in the Vandervort Room on Thursday, April 11.

Erin Kluge ’23, M.S.M. ’24 and Emilyn Reed ’23, M.S.M. ’24, who have helped compile HWS’ greenhouse gas inventory report and Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education STARS report, also participated in the event.

About the panelists

After graduation, Brown joined the Peace Corps in Mozambique. She served for more than two years as an education volunteer teaching biology, chemistry and English as a Second Language. After her return, she joined the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maine through AmeriCorps, before deciding her passion was teaching. She worked as a science and math teacher for a small private school for several years before starting her own private tutoring business. She now teaches science at Orange High School in Hillsborough, N.C. At HWS, Brown majored in biology and initiated the effort that led to HWS signing on as a charter member of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. 

Drennen is the author of the book Pathways to a Hydrogen Future, as well as dozens of articles. He holds a Ph.D. in resource economics from Cornell University, a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a senior economist for Sandia National Laboratories, he developed several techno-economic models, including the Alternative Liquid Fuels Simulation (ALTSim) Biofuels Model, which examines the economic and environmental tradeoffs of alternative fuels. Drennen’s most recent publication, co-authored with Martin Roeck ’20, details the environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining. At HWS, he teaches a number of courses around entrepreneurship and others that challenge students to consider the relationships between energy, the environment and the economy. 

Gadigian is a Vice President of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Sustainability at Cerberus Capital Management. His passion for sustainability began at HWS where he was an economics major and environmental studies minor, and a member of the sustainability initiative. After spending a few years in investment banking and mergers and acquisitions, he started two of his own companies that performed consulting services for energy and water efficiency technology companies. In 2022, he graduated from Duke University with an MBA and a Master of Environmental Management. In his role at Cerberus he is responsible for ESG and sustainability strategy oversight and implementation across investments in portfolio companies and manages greenhouse gas data collection and reporting.

From 2008 to 2013, Landi developed and implemented Hobart and William Smith’s sustainability program and Climate Action Plan as HWS’ first sustainability manager. While serving as a volunteer to the City of Geneva Green Committee, he was a resource for community-level sustainability planning and led the City’s project team implementing the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives’ greenhouse gas mitigation protocol. Following his work at HWS, Landi attended Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, earning his M.B.A. with a focus in Sustainable Global Enterprise. A Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow, Landi helped create the inaugural Green Revolving Fund Class and Fund for Cornell University. He went on to run Mohawk Resources Ltd, a manufacturer of hydraulic vehicle lifts, where he leveraged his triple bottom line experience steering the Made in America manufacturer through significant growth. Now a partner at Mohawk Lifts LLC, Landi has relocated to Maine where he is taking some time away from work to be with his family and raise his son.

As Head of Carbon Neutralization at Amazon, Mulligan is the technical, strategy and investment lead for the company’s investments in climate change mitigation outside its own value chain. He also serves as one of 12 expert judges for the $100 million XPRIZE for carbon removal. Funded by the Musk Foundation, the carbon removal iteration of the global science and technology competition is designed to fight climate change by rebalancing the Earth’s carbon cycle. He previously held positions at the World Resources Institute, where he built and led the institute’s U.S. carbon removal practice, and at the White House Office of Management and Budget. After graduating from HWS with a B.A. in public policy, he earned an M.S. in natural resources and environment and an M.A. in applied economics at the University of Michigan.