Our panel will feature accomplished alumnae who have blazed trails in the sustainability arena. Their experience, expertise, and success stories will inspire and empower fellow alums, current students, and aspiring professionals.
What to Expect:
-Our panelist will discuss their sustainability journey, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the path to success.
-They will share insights and strategies for lasting impact in sustainability and related fields.
-Networking opportunities with fellow panelists and attendees.
-Light food and refreshments will be provided.
Meet our moderator and panelists:
Moderator: Nurit Katz, MPP and MBA ’08
UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz, is working to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to facilitate the creation of a world-class living laboratory for sustainability at UCLA. Nurit served as Executive Officer for UCLA Facilities Management for six years and is an Instructor for UCLA Extension’s Sustainability Certificate Program. She also serves as Commissioner on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board. Nurit holds an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA and a BA in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University and is pursuing a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Daniela Simunovic, MURP ’13
Daniela Simunovic is a recognized leader with 20 years of experience developing programs and policies to advance social, economic and environmental equity. Daniela currently serves as the Senior Director of Climate and Sustainability in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, where she supports implementing the Mayor’s climate and sustainability goals. Simunovic previously served as a Senior Advisor on Environmental Equity to the California Air Resources Board Chair. Before that, Daniela was a Senior Policy Director at Better World Group. At the California Strategic Growth Council, Daniela led the development and implementation of the Transformative Climate Communities Program, a place-based initiative focused on investing in the State’s most vulnerable communities. As Deputy Director of Environmental Health and Justice at the Liberty Hill Foundation, she supported adopting and implementing the “Clean Up Green Up” ordinance. Daniela received her Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Kristen Torres Pawling, MURP ’12
Kristen Torres Pawling is a sustainability policy expert with over a decade of public and non-profit experience in climate change and its intersection with the built environment. Kristen is the deputy chief of staff for LA City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky. She previously served as senior staff at the County of Los Angeles Chief Sustainability Office, crafting and overseeing the implementation of the nation’s most ambitious regional sustainability plan. Kristen has worked on various sustainability issues, including transportation, regional planning, land use, air quality, and climate resilience. She was awarded the 2022 UCLA Young Alumnus of the Year for her public service to Los Angeles and the UCLA community. Kristen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography/environmental studies and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA.
Colleen Callahan, MURP ’10
Colleen Callahan (she/her) is co-executive director and co-founder of the Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI), based in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She has played an integral part in building the research center from the ground up. Collaborating with colleagues and civic partners, she helps ensure that LCI’s research shapes equitable and effective environmental policy and plans. She spends much of her time strategizing, partnering, amplifying LCI’s work, and leading or supporting research projects, communications, events, and more.
Colleen has nearly 20 years of experience in social entrepreneurship, environmental policy, and urban planning. Previous experience included establishing the L.A. office of the American Lung Association, later serving as local lead on clean air campaigns. She is a Switzer Environmental Fellow with an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA and a B.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College.