Isabella Wechsler

Strategic Policy Advisor, New York City Department of Environmental Protection

"The ESPP program was a seminal part of my Harvard experience. I loved the ESPP junior tutorials and took many provoking, inspiring classes that challenged my definition of "sustainability" and taught me to conceptualize stakeholders and problems in entirely new ways. The ESPP concentration gave me a series of frameworks to think about change, and through an emphasis on case studies and success stories, taught me that the most overwhelming obstacles can be tackled despite their daunting scope. In a field that bumps up against climate change in innumerable contexts, ESPP focused on concrete, actionable solutions and encouraged its students to seek hands-on experiences outside of class. Some of my favorite memories include creating a land-use plan for Lake Placid in Florida during a week-long field trip and sailing in Key West while exploring oceanographic research during J-term. In addition, my ESPP advisers and professors have been the kindest and most generous mentors and teachers. The depth of their knowledge and experience has nudged my own intellectual standards to another plane altogether, and I look forward to staying in touch with them throughout my career. I worked as an Urban Fellow in NYC and now as a Strategic Policy Advisor, and continue to be intrigued by the fascinating ways in which behavioral economics and psychology apply to environmental policy. I will be forever grateful to ESPP for opening my eyes and heart to the complex environmental issues that will demand the very best of our capacity for empathy and intellectual creativity. "
- Class of '13