Sustainable Development Pioneer Emmanuel Stefanakis Named Special Advisor to the Dean for International Initiatives

emmanuel stefanakisEmmanuel Stefanakis, principal of Sustainable Strategies International, is serving as special advisor to the dean for international initiatives at the LSU College of Art & Design through June 2016.

Stefanakis is working with LSU College of Art & Design Dean Alkis Tsolakis and Associate Dean of Research & Development Lake Douglas to engage students, faculty, and administrators across the university to form partnerships with all the colleges at LSU and with institutions in the Caribbean Basin towards this applied research initiative. The research initiative is intended to take a multidisciplinary approach towards the resolution of issues pertaining to climate change, social justice, security (including food and energy security) poverty, and economic development in the Caribbean Basin. He is currently coordinating efforts with the LSU College of Art & Design, AgCenter, International Studies, and Office of Research & Development.

Stefanakis has been a pioneer in applying sustainable development principles in development projects and programs and has significant leadership experience in the use of market-based forces to promote sustainable development. He has advised government, nonprofit, academic, and international development sectors on policy, strategy, and strategy implementation in 40 countries. He has been personally involved in projects within the Caribbean Basin for the past 18 years.

In the academic sector, Emmanuel has served as president of a 100-year-old American college focused on sustainable agriculture in Greece and was charged with its modernization and financial reforms. He has served as visiting associate professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and as faculty in the MBA program at the Arthur D. Little Management Education Institute (now Hult). He has lectured at numerous universities and designed executive education seminars in the United States, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Southeast Europe, and the Middle East on behalf of the United Nations, World Bank, EBRD, and USAID. He serves as an entrepreneurial mentor to students and faculty at MIT through the Venture Mentoring Service and serves on the External Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. Stefanakis received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.

His projects have ranged from financial mechanisms, urban revitalization plans, new towns, corporate privatization, public policy, and design/construction. As an entrepreneur, he has formed companies that implement sustainable development strategies for profit, including affordable “green” housing and recycling of industrial by-products for organic food production. He also designed and built the first LEED Platinum homes in Massachusetts in 2007. As principal of Sustainable Strategies International, an advisory firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, Stefanakis helps private, nonprofit, and government organizations become more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.

Stefanakis became involved with LSU through his work with the Haiti-New Orleans Heritage Task Force. He has worked on projects in Haiti with Austin Allen, associate professor at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, and, most recently, he worked with Assistant Professor Robert Holton and LSU School of Architecture students on a master plan for the sustainable development of the community of Gressier in Haiti.