Who We Are
SDG USA is a non-profit organization that supports America’s Goals for 2030. America’s Goals call for good jobs for all, healthcare for all, investing in America’s children, putting people’s interests over special interests, ensuring equal opportunity for all, providing sustainable infrastructure, and ensuring a clean and safe environment. America’s Goals adapt the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to the US context and offer a non-partisan framework for progress. SDG USA partners with groups around the country committed to America’s Goals.
SDG USA encourages all citizens, businesses, civil society organizations, and governments at all levels to promote America’s Goals for 2030, in order to address pressing economic, social and environmental challenges in the nation. SDG USA promotes practical problem solving through goal-base policies, grassroots organizing, policy research, social entrepreneurship, and consensus building at home and abroad.
The SDG USA Board of Directors is a group of passionate people dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the United States and beyond.
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.
Kerry Kennedy is the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. For more than thirty years, Ms. Kennedy has devoted herself to the pursuit of equal justice, the promotion and protection of basic rights, and the preservation of the rule of law.
Jennifer Gross founded the Blue Chip Foundation in 2015 which focuses on alleviating extreme poverty in the developing world, education in the United States, and social enterprise in Los Angeles. Ms. Gross serves on the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and as the Secretary of SDG USA. Ms. Gross is a member of The Gross Family Foundation which has donated to Mercy Ships, Doctors Without Borders, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Duke University, UCI Stem Cell Research Center, Sue and Bill Gross Women’s Pavillion at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Sue and Bill Gross Surgery and Procedure Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, and The Teachers of Orange County. She also serves on the board for the Association of Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Duke Global Health Institute and LA Kitchen. She is partnering with PixHug which is a social media platform designed to bring money to charitable campaigns through member participation. Prior to joining PixHug, Ms. Gross owned a physical therapy clinic in Beverly Hills. She has 10 years of philanthropic and business experience and earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Aniket Shah is currently the Program Leader of the Financing for Sustainable Development Initiative at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). In this role, Aniket works with national governments, global financial institutions (public and private) and non-profit organizations on financing the sustainable development agenda. In this capacity, he led a global advisory initiative to the Government of Ethiopia on the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015. Aniket works closely with Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute. Aniket will also be playing a leading role at the recently formed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Center for Africa, where he will lead the Center’s work on Sustainable Finance in Africa. He has been seconded from Investec Asset Management for this position.
Adam is a co-founder and chairman of Future Now and Future Now Action, and board member of Sustainable Development Goals USA. He is co-founder and chairman of Assembled Brands, a holding company providing member services to design companies seeking to build enduring brands, and General Assembly, a global network of campuses providing educational and professional development training.
Irwin Redlener, M.D., is director and founder of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, which works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. In addition, he holds professorships in Health Policy & Management at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and in Pediatrics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.
Dr. Redlener is a nationally recognized expert on children’s health care, disaster preparedness policies, the impact and consequences of major natural disasters and terrorism and the relationship between disaster resilience and sustainable development. Following Hurricane Sandy, he was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to co-chair the NY State Ready Commission, and he previously served as one of the ten members of the congressionally-established National Commission on Children and Disasters.
He currently serves as a special advisor on emergency preparedness to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and numerous federal agencies, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Redlener is also President Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Children’s Health Fund, a philanthropic initiative that he created with singer/song-writer Paul Simon to develop health care programs in 25 of the nation’s most medically underserved urban and rural communities.
Dr. Redlener has authored and co-authored numerous articles in peer reviewed journals on issues related to access to care for children and disaster –related topics. He is a regular contributor to The Hill and writes opinion pieces in a variety of print media outlets. He is the author of, *The Future of Us, What the Dreams of Children Mean for Twenty-First-Century America (Columbia University Press) which *was released on September 19, 2017. He also authored, Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now (Knopf).
Dr. Redlener completed his undergraduate degree at Hofstra University and received his M.D. at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. Specialty training was received at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, the University of Colorado Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He holds honorary degrees from Hofstra University and Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Jacqueline is CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman of BrightLine Partners LLC, the market leader for advanced TV advertising. Jacqueline sits on numerous boards, including the Atlantic Theater Company, the International Radio and Television Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Second Curve Capital, the Luminari Capital to the Advisory Board, and the NBCU Women’s Advisory Board. She is also extensively involved in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, where she sits on the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Pope Francis’ Ethics in Action project under the auspices of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Jacqueline was also Chairman of the Board of the Millennium Promise Alliance, overseeing the integrated economic development work that is the signature of Jeffrey Sachs’ efforts across Sub-Saharan Africa from 2005-2015. She has spoken and keynoted at numerous television, advertising and technology conferences over the years. She has also been named one of New York Business Journal’s Women of Influence in 2016.
Sonia Ehrlich Sachs is a pediatrician and public health specialist. She received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.D. from the University of Maryland Medical School, and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. A pediatrician with a specialty in pediatric endocrinology, Sonia practiced medicine for over 20 years, 14 of which she spent at the Harvard University Health Services. In 2004 she joined the Earth Institute and became the health coordinator for the Millennium Villages Project overseeing all health related interventions and research. The Millennium Villages Project is proof of concept that extremely poor rural communities can reach the Millennium Development Goals given a science-based, community led approach of integrated interventions that increase food production and increase access to health care, education, water and infrastructure. The goal is to show that such an integrated development approach is both scalable and sustainable.
Dr. Upmanu Lall is the Director of the Columbia Water Center and the Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering at Columbia University. He has broad interests in hydrology, climate dynamics, water resource systems analysis, risk management and sustainability. He is motivated by challenging questions at the intersection of these fields, especially where they have relevance to societal outcomes or to the advancement of science towards innovative application. His current research covers 3 major initiatives that are developed through the Columbia Water Center. The Global Water Sustainability Initiative addresses global water scarcity and risk. The Global Flood Initiative is motivated by the need to predict, mitigate and manage floods at a global scale recognizing their climate drivers, and supply chain impacts. America’s Water seeks to develop sustainable water management and infrastructure design paradigms for the 21st century recognizing the linkages between urban functioning, food, water, energy and climate. These programmatic initiatives are backed by research on systems level modeling of hydrology, climate, agronomy and economics. Dr. Lall has pioneered the application of techniques from (a) nonlinear dynamical systems, (b) nonparametric methods of function estimation and their application to spatio-temporal dynamical systems, (c) Hierarchical Bayesian models, (d) systems optimization and simulation and (e) the study of multi-scale climate variability and change as an integral component of hydrologic systems. He has published in journals that focus on hydrology, water resources, climate, physics, applied mathematics and statistics, development, policy and management science. He is the current editor of the journal “Water Security”. He has been engaged in high level public and scientific discussion through the media, the World Economic Forum, and with governments, foundations, development banks, and corporations interested in sustainability. He has served on several national and international panels. He was one of the originators of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, and is a past President of the Natural Hazards Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union.He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and was awarded the Henry Darcy Medal by the European Geophysical Union, and the Arid Lands Hydrology Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Wendy Abrams is an environmental activist and founder of Cool Globes, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of climate change. Wendy graduated from Brown University in 1987, and received an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1990.
Caroline Fox is the Deputy Director of SDG USA. Caroline has over ten years of experience in project management; most recently she managed operations for international projects geared towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals at the Earth Institute of Columbia University and at Millennium Promise. She holds a MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University.
Policy & Data Analyst
Alainna has over 10 years experience researching and advocating for policies that center marginalized communities. She’s worked with organizations like the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), World Health Organization, UnLtd and others to prevent harm, to understand what’s working and why, and to prioritize the needs and voices of underserved communities in development decision-making. She has an MSc in Evidence-Based Social Intervention from Oxford University, and a BA in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
Policy & Data Analyst
Anna specializes in resilience planning and monitoring and evaluation for environmental and development projects. She has gained policy experience through her work with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc., and the Earth Institute Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. Most recently she completed her dissertation research with PUR Project, an international ecosystem services firm, developing monitoring and evaluation systems to improve ecological, social, and economic sustainability within climate change adaptation projects. She has lived in the US and the UK, and conducted environmental research in Brazil, Kenya, and Colombia. Anna holds an honors BA in Sustainable Development from Columbia University, and graduated with distinction from the University of Oxford with an MSc in Environmental Change and Management.