Alumni Perspectives

Participants often walk away from this program talking about the unique and transformative experience they have had during the offering. But don’t take our word for it: Watch, hear, and read for yourself what your peers are saying.


Written Testimonials

Read what past participants have said about their expereince with us. We've organized their powerful words by sector:

Business Sector

"I came into this program thinking I was going to learn how to execute on a sustainability vision more effectively in my organization. I gained that and more. I was surrounded by people who are so genuinely committed to their work, so eager to share and so willing to do the hard work that lies ahead. I gained comrades for life. I learned from faculty and presenters who are not just the experts in the field but also possess a level of life wisdom and inner peace that demonstrates how sustainability work can be so fulfilling. I have returned to my work with a set of tools I immediately applied and saw measurable progress." -- Gretchen Enninga, Director of Performance Management, Optum Health, October 2019 Participant

“If you want to spend a week thinking about how to save the world with a diverse global cohort, an intellectual and experienced faculty and all-star lineup of influential speakers, at the most prestigious academic institution in the world, EESL is definitely the best place to do that.” — Edward V. Dixon, Sustainability Insights Director, Landsec, November 2018 Participant

“The focused and authentic content that was presented during the Sustainability Leadership Program was more than just thought provoking. The entire experience was masterfully crafted in a way that allowed me the opportunity to set aside my day-to-day hustle and truly be immersed in open conversations about sustainability practices and the trends and initiatives that are being developed and implemented by some of the best minds in the sustainability community.” — Erik D. Hansen, Chief Sustainability Officer, Wynn Resorts, November 2018 Participant

"This new program at Harvard in Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership is the first I've seen that properly addresses the organizational change demands of our work as sustainability leaders and practitioners. I served as a guest lecturer in the inaugural course, but found that I learned just as much as I contributed. I think the course is an extremely sound investment for any sustainability leader trying to work out how to get things done." Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director, Environmental & Supplier Diversity Strategy, Office Depot, June 2014 and July 2015 Faculty and Participant

“This experience is like a controlled substance. It will blow your mind! Very enriching, validating to my intuition, clarified my thinking, elevated my energy and expanded my vision. I now perceive aspects of sustainability that hadn't occurred to me.” — Elizabeth J Heider, Chief Sustainability Officer, Skanska USA, June 2014 Participant

"The Harvard Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program is a pivotal opportunity to meet, share and learn about how different organizations representing a variety of sectors are confronting the challenges of making their organizations sustainable for the long term, and particularly on how to make the change that is needed to facilitate the rapid innovation required today. The program provides an important framework for thinking about, and effecting change in a rapidly changing and socially connected environment." — Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer, MGM Resorts International, Participating Faculty

“This program provides vital change leadership frameworks and tools to further unlock the value of sustainability at any organization. In addition, Leith Sharp's passion for sustainability change leadership is infectious. Her determination in breaking through the barriers is evident throughout the curricula. Her real-life experiences in applying the strategies validates that conscious navigation between both operating systems is the key to success.” --- Nate Shepley Streed, Director of Sustainability & Public Affairs, Chobani, November 2017 Participant

“This new program provides crucial tools, skills and information to leverage sustainability as a change agent. The thought leadership provided by the world class instructors and also my fellow participants left me motivated, committed and reenergized to the power and inspiration of sustainability leadership.” — Robert Bolin, Senior Vice President, National Director of High Performance Solutions, Syska Hennessy Group, June 2014 Participant


“Being a participant in this program allowed me the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate my own leadership skills while opening our minds to new strategies. These strategies have since fostered a lot more innovation and collaboration within my organization at all levels.” — Christina Sprows, Former Senior Director of Architecture & Engineering, CVS Health, July 2015 Participant

"I have been able to continue the dialogue started during our week together with a number of the participants.  A true sign of a great event.  As I was finishing up my year end review, I have to say, the week was truly one of the highlights. Please be sure to keep up the good and impactful work!" — Ian Olson, Director of Sustainability, McDonald’s Corporation, October 2015 Faculty and Participant

Education Sector

"The course is amazing. It’s cross sector, it’s international, it’s inspirational, it has directed and self-directed learning to maximize opportunity, it challenges the notion of business as usual. This is an opportunity to be lifted away from the crises of your day job, a time to reflect and test ideas, to open up your mind to new ways of working.” - Jane Davidson, Ph.D., Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement and Sustainability, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, 2016 Program Participant, 2017 Program Faculty

"This program is an amazing resource and opportunity. My fellow participants were creative and committed change makers who continue to inspire me, and the faculty opened my eyes to both thought-provoking core concepts and incredibly practical tools for moving our work forward. The ideas, tools, and connections shared by the faculty and participants are relevant for my work both in campus sustainability and as a social entrepreneur. I have been able to implement concrete strategies discussed in the sessions, and the broader conceptual framework proves useful everyday." - Sandra Goldmark, Director of Sustainability and Environment, Barnard College, and Founder, FIXUP, 2017 Program Participant

“This program delivered a critical missing piece for me around change leadership and sustainability. As a result I left with a renewed enthusiasm and commitment that has persisted.” -- Jerry Weber, Ph.D. , President, College of Lake County

“I left energized and ready to tackle the most complex adaptive problems that my college faces. Wherever your organization is in relation to sustainability this program helps you go to the next level. In addition, the creative environment and the nature of the course content takes you beyond sustainability to advance the change capability of your entire organization.” — Mary Spilde, Ph.D. , President, Lane Community College

“For over a decade in higher education I have been searching for a model of institutional sustainability that can help our senior leaders take the steering wheel. The CBI-S framework and executive education program do just that, with the right mix of process and product orientation. This is long overdue.” — Daniel Roth, Special Advisor, Campus Sustainability Office, Cornell University, June 2014 Participant

"Trusted colleagues in higher education had recommended the Harvard Executive Education in Sustainability program to me. I'm glad they did. I've attended many different leadership programs and workshops and have a good basis for comparison. This program was remarkable. It exceeded my expectations and gave me an actionable framework for taking an organization through accelerated change and innovation in sustainability (or any other kind of change). Engaging and learning with practitioners from across the globe and many different industry sectors was an incredible experience. The faculty were all exceptional - and what can I say about Leith Sharp? She is smart, focused, perceptive, fun, and incredibly humble about the work she's done to shape this very organic, yet highly organized, program. This is not a program you walk away from and say, 'that was nice'. What you learn goes with you and continuously influences your thoughts and actions in ways large and small for a very, very long time." — Linda Lujan, Ph.D., New Ventures Officer, Chancellor's Office, Maricopa Community College District, October 2015 Participant

"I signed up for the program to scale up our efforts at integrating sustainability into the core business of our institution. Before I came to Harvard I felt like I had come as far as I could with my current toolkit.  I came back from Harvard with a powerful set of tools, language and approaches that have already begun to show their worth. Since my return from the program I have been able to make a strong and compelling case to senior leadership that sustainability is THE solution to our organizational problems. In addition to this, and quite unexpectedly, I also returned with a network of colleagues and friends that have both inspired and energized my work.  The program organizers, speakers and content were impeccable. I highly recommend it." — Candace Le Roy, Director, SFU Sustainability Office, Simon Fraser University, October 2015 Participant

"This program gave me an injection of enthusiasm, catharsis, and the ability to forge on. It provided me with a new lens about how to view my organization, accomplish my goals, and pursue my vision. I have another set of tools and language, as well as a new network of people, ranging across all sectors, to consult. I had a magical week at Harvard and highly recommend it for anyone who sees sustainability as the glue to bring people and ideas together." — Brian Filiatraut, Director of Sustainability, Poly Prep Country Day School, November 2018 Participant

Public Sector

"This Executive Education program in Sustainability Leadership is both inspiring and affirming. The program offers strong guidance and encouragement for professionals to understand what it takes to set wheels in motion to make positive changes in small and large ways. It is also an affirming and validating curriculum that allows participants time to reflect and realize actions already taken to inspire change and use those thoughts to motivate us for future action. The program is centered around sustainability and the urgent actions we all must take to change our path, but this adaptive approach to change leadership can be applied to anything.” -- Jessica Wurwarg, Executive Director of Real Estate, Planning and Sustainability, Facilities Management, NYC Department of Transportation, 2019 Program Participant

“The Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership Program provides the perfect balance of high octane, academic rigor with mindful thought leadership. Led by Leith Sharp and a diverse ensemble for sustainability experts, the program is an inclusive, supportive, and contemporary experience that assembles the best and brightest students from diverse environmental backgrounds. The program promotes the right balance of pragmatism and optimism, leaving participants feeling rejuvenated and invigorated by the end. The result is a unique, academic experience and a “must do” for any sustainability executive.” -- Jason H. Giffen, Assistant Vice President, Port of San Diego, 2018 Program Participant

"The course exceeded my expectations both in the breadth and quality of the participants and in the direct applicability of the core content of the program. The focus on idea flow and managing from the middle has provided me with a new way of looking at my role within the city structure. Engagement with our residents and businesses will be more creative and productive with the tools learned in this class." -- Sally Barros, Sustainability Manager, City of San Leandro, CA, 2017 Program Participant

"As a local government leader I found this program to be relevant, engaging and visionary. I especially enjoyed the chance to interact with leaders from other sectors." — Zaida Basora, FAIA, Assistant Director, City of Dallas Public Works Department, June 2014 Participant

“This new program provided the missing link – how to connect my commitment to sustainability with high impact leadership in a municipal environment, transcending the typical barriers of complex government structures to accelerate the integration of sustainability.” — Ruthy Bennett, Regional Energy Manager, Towns of Arlington and Bedford, MA, June 2014 Participant

"Planned or not, change is happening in our organizations and the world surrounding them.  The Harvard Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program provides participants with the tools necessary to lead this inevitable change in a networked fashion that empowers people at all levels of an organization.  These leadership tools are and will be vital to leaders striving to adapt and change their organizations in a sustainable and responsible manner." — Adam W. Chapdelaine, Town Manager, Town of Arlington, MA, July 2015 Participant

“The Harvard Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program is an inspirational opportunity to work with every sector of business, government and non-profit organizations. This program provides an especially poignant framework for government officials as it helps the participants straddle the barriers and opportunities that exist in top down and bottom up innovations... I highly recommend this program and hope someday there will be a Part II!” — Patti Southard, Program Manager, King County GreenTools, November 2016 Participant

“I enjoyed that the learning group was diverse and the material included real examples from schools and institutions, major corporations, small businesses, and governments.  This created opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas and practical tools from a broad spectrum of experience.” — Elizabeth Teague, AICP, CTP | Development Services Director, Town of Waynesville, NC, November 2016 Participant

Non-profit Sector / Membership Organizations

“Attending the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership Program has been invaluable in our pursuit of “greening” our ballparks and events. (Program Director) Leith Sharp has assembled an incredible team of industry professionals, educators, and experts to provide a roadmap of how to achieve success in sustainability at all of our respective organizations. I’d recommend this course to anyone looking to grow their environmental efforts at their company or venue.” -- Paul T. Hanlon, Senior Director, Ballpark Operations and Sustainability, Major League Baseball

"The Harvard Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program provides an excellent opportunity to learn and share best practices in Sustainability applied across range of sectors and organisations. I represent the financial sector in which ‘sustainability strategy’ is still to a large extent considered as ‘a nice to have’  and is often limited to efficient use of natural resources at offices instead of measuring and reporting information about the true source of sustainability: their social and governance performance, and how it relates to financial performance. This program educates leaders on filling the gap in terms of integrating sustainability principles within the core business strategies from which the organisation could benefit in long term. The program provides a standard tested approach to participants, which could be incorporated in day to day business.  I was absolutely inspired and influenced by the program content and expertise of the faculty and fellow participants and would highly recommend it to future aspirants." -- Sachin S Vankalas, Head of Operations I Sustainability Officer, LuxFLAG, October 2015 Participant