ISI welcomes Feniosky Peña-Mora to its Board of Directors

Washington D.C., 21 March 2023 — ISI is very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Feniosky Peña-Mora of Columbia University to its Board of Directors. Professor Peña-Mora fills the member-at-large seat previously vacated by Martin (“Marty”) Janowitz, who completed his term in 2022.

“We are indebted to Marty for his contributions to the board and the tremendous support he has provided to the development of the Envision® sustainability framework over many years,” said Anthony Kane, ISI’s President & CEO. As communities and public agencies look to solutions like Envision to achieve sustainability, equity, and resiliency in the built environment, ISI is fortunate once again to be able to attract another infrastructure professional of outstanding calibre to join its board: Feniosky Peña-Mora, the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University.

“Professor Peña-Mora has made exceptional contributions to infrastructure sustainability through his research, teaching, academic leadership, and practice, and in particular as the former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Design and Construction — the country’s largest municipal public works department,” Kane highlighted. “The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure is privileged to be able to benefit from Dr. Peña-Mora’s wealth of expertise and significant prior board experience in shaping strategic direction at ISI.”

Feniosky Peña-Mora, ScD., PE(DR), NAS(DR), CCM(UK), F.CIOB(UK), NAC, Dist.M.ASCE, along with being the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor, is a Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering and of Computer Science at Columbia. He is the Executive Director of Columbia’s Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space, which identifies how best to design, construct, and manage buildings, infrastructure, and civic space, emphasizing functionality, sustainability, and resilience.

From 2014 to 2017, he was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC). In response to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, DDC managed the creation and expansion of resilient and sustainable infrastructure projects to protect New York City against extreme weather emergencies and reduce green gas emissions. As part of the New York City Build-it-Back Program, he led the Program Management efforts to procure and manage three Construction Management-Design-Build contracts responsible for raising, rebuilding, and flood-protecting over 1000 homes in the three hardest-hit NYC Boroughs. Among the most significant projects of Peña-Mora’s tenure at DDC were the new $740 million Police Academy, the new $640 million 911 Site, and the Times Square reconstruction.

Prior to his public service leave at DDC, he was dean of the school of engineering and applied sciences of Columbia and an endowed professor. Previously, he held endowed professorships at MIT, where he had earned his MS and PhD in civil engineering, and at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he also served as Associate Provost. Peña-Mora is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the FIATECH Engineering & Technology Innovation Award, as well as numerous awards from ASCE.

Professor Peña-Mora is a member of the Boards of New York City Health and Hospitals, the ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). At ASCE, he chairs the Industry Leaders Council (ILC) and the Board Strategy Advisory Committee (BSAC), which is currently updating ASCE’s strategic plan.

At ISI, Prof. Peña-Mora will serve alongside Board Chair Michael Murcha (Madison Metropolitan Sewage District) and Board Members Erin Cooke (San Francisco International Airport), Lauren Evans (Pinyon Environmental), Sergio Pecori (Hanson Professional Services Inc.), Mark Pestrella (Los Angeles County Public Works), and Renee Ring (Environmental Financial Consulting Group).

ISI Salutes Achievements of Lindsey Geiger, Education Director

Some bittersweet news at ISI today: Our very own Lindsey Geiger, P.E., is moving on from ISI to pursue a new professional opportunity, after five exceptional years in the role of Education Director. ISI congratulates Lindsey on the start of a new adventure and takes this opportunity to highlight her singular contributions to the team!

Lindsey has been instrumental in shaping education at ISI, achieving strong growth in the program at a time when both our signature framework (the Envision v3 launch in April 2018) and the operating environment (COVID-19) transformed. She brought tremendous dedication and organizational skills to make that happen, along the way cultivating strong relationships with the professionals, the public-sector agencies and the private firms that make ISI the hub of a unique community in the infrastructure space.

Lindsey will be working on environmental and sustainability issues at the Portland Cement Association (PCA), and notably their 2050 roadmap to carbon neutrality. Some of the work will also have a natural tie-in with infrastructure and rating systems. “Frameworks like LEED and Envision certainly have a role to play in reducing carbon all along the value chain of concrete,” Lindsey noted. “And let’s not forget: as much as that tall building project might use a lot of concrete, a large infrastructure project is often on a whole other level.”

In one of her last official acts as Education Director this week, Lindsey is leading her final Envision Train the Trainer workshop. Looking back, she says that when COVID-19 temporarily upended in-person facilitator training a few years ago, figuring out a way to deliver the workshops online was a critical step for ISI. “That was decisive — ensuring that we did not lose the momentum that had been building, particular after the launch of version 3 of Envision in April 2018.”

She considers the experience of leading Envision trainer workshops as one of her highlights at ISI; a strong passion for sustainability shone through with every new cohort. It’s this same passion that has shaped her career over the years, including roles as a sustainability engineer. A graduate of University of Virginia (B.S., Civil Engineering) and Michigan Technological University (MS, Environmental Engineering), Lindsey had also worked for years as a water and sanitation engineer in Mali.

Just prior to ISI, she was a Project Engineer and Community Programs Manager at AWWA, where she used her water utility knowledge to customize and deliver Envision credentialing training packages for a variety of customers including DC Water and the City of Westminster, Colo.

Her work at AWWA also included managing over 30 infrastructure projects in underserved communities and providing training for project teams and technical reviews of work plans and design reports.

Creating a New Chapter for Education at ISI

Shortly after arriving at ISI, she was tasked with developing a way for ENV SP to renew their training and keep up-to-date in their knowledge of sustainable infrastructure practices. She delivered, and then some, leading the creation of a credential maintenance program for a broad network of ENV SPs that includes diverse educational offerings (regular webinars, curated online courses, and an annual virtual conference) to ensure credential holders are equipped to advance sustainability in the field.

Upon implementation of the program, she helped realize an initial 60% retention of credential holders and increased that retention to 80% in the program’s first two years.

She has also contributed to the further refinement and development of Envision and ENV SP course development. She implemented programmatic updates to increase the number of new credential holders while exceeding targets – and achieved this feat during COVID-19!

Behind the scenes, and through it all, it has been an absolute pleasure working with Lindsey. She has been an incredible presence on this team and on ISI committees, and she been more than instrumental in shaping the success of ISI. We wish her all the best in her next professional adventure, and know this: the post-ISI Lindsey Geiger will continue to be a name to watch for, as a sustainability leader and driver in the A/E/C industry!