Climate Justice in Action (Faculty)
Ana is Chair of the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management graduate program and an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at the Milano School. She also serves as the Associate Director for the Tishman Environment & Design Center (TEDC) at The New School.
Ana’s research and professional practice focuses on environmental and climate justice. She works directly with impacted communities and coalitions to advance environmental justice policies, zero waste systems, climate justice and resiliency plans, cumulative impacts tools, and mitigation strategies tied to goods movement. Her current research focuses on the use of municipal and state land use and zoning tools to support environmental justice goals and address cumulative environmental impacts in disproportionately impacted communities. Ana helped to develop and implement a model Environmental Justice and Cumulative Impacts Ordinance in Newark, New Jersey. She also focuses on issues related to climate justice policies at the national and state level. She is currently leading research at TEDC in collaboration with the Center for Earth, Energy & Democracy and the Urban Environment Institute at Thomas Edison State College focused on the equity implications of states climate mitigation policies. Her recent publication examines the environmental justice implications of the promotion of waste incineration and other biomass technologies in national climate mitigation strategies. Ana’s research extends to issues related to zero waste, the circular economy and anti- incineration policies that can help cities transform their relationship to waste. She recently published a book chapter on best practices for organics diversion in New York City [Smarter New York City: How City Agencies Innovate] and an article related to the dangers of co-incineration in municipal zero waste or renewable energy policies. Ana’s professional practice is based primarily in community engaged scholarship and policy development and critical participatory action research. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the implementation of state-level environmental justice policies across the United States, which institutionalized the environmental justice discourse absent systemic approaches to the distributive and structural roots of environmental injustice.
Prior to joining The New School, Ana was the Director of Environment and Energy programs for the Regional Plan Association. She also previously worked as the Environmental Justice and Planning Director for the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. At ICC she oversaw a wide range of environmental justice, community development, and planning projects. Ana completed her Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She received her Master’s degree from Brown University in Environmental Studies and has an undergraduate degree in Environmental & Evolutionary Biology as well as Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.
Ana currently serves as the Chair of the Passaic River Superfund Community Advisory Group, a steering committee member of the Coalition for Healthy Ports and the national Moving Forward Network. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Victoria Foundation, Ironbound Community Corporation, the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).