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Meghan Chapple-Brown Named First Director of GW's Office of Sustainability

January 05, 2009

WASHINGTON--George Washington University President Steven Knapp has announced that Meghan Chapple-Brown will serve as the University's first director of the recently established Office of Sustainability. Chapple-Brown will draw upon nearly 15 years of experience in sustainable development in corporate and nonprofit organizations to lead the University's efforts.

"Meghan Chapple-Brown brings the skills and experience that will help the University achieve its aspiration of becoming a model of sustainability in the greater Washington area and a national leader in this area among institutions of higher learning," said Dr. Knapp. "She will coordinate and extend the efforts already underway across the University to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and build a commitment to environmental stewardship into the fabric of our institutional culture."

The Office of Sustainability was launched in the fall at the recommendation of a yearlong Presidential Task Force on Sustainability. Chapple-Brown will coordinate operational activities University-wide under a collaborative plan that aims to maximize GW's environmental efficiency at its two campuses in Washington, D.C., and its campus in Ashburn, Va. As part of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment signed by Dr. Knapp in April, she also will work with the GW Office of Planning and Environmental Management to help create a comprehensive climate neutrality plan, which will target the reduction of greenhouse gases, and work with an academic task force looking at innovative curriculum in the vast field of sustainability.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to work with The George Washington University to support the students, staff, faculty, and alumni in solving sustainable development issues," said Chapple-Brown. "I look forward to building on the good work that is already being done at the University. As a premier institution in the nation's capital, GW has a unique contribution to make to a world where all people can benefit from the earth's resources now and in the future."

Previously, Chapple-Brown served as the director of client services at SustainAbility, advising companies such as Ford Motor Company, Nike, Wal-Mart, and Eli Lilly. She specializes in the relationship among sustainable futures, organizational strategy, and market innovation. Chapple-Brown has worked around the world. She also has expertise in emerging economies, which is founded on her previous projects in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina with organizations including the Dow Growth Center, World Resources Institute, and Public Allies.

"Throughout her career, Chapple-Brown has successfully integrated sustainability efforts within and across diverse organizations," said Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz. "These skills will be crucial as she lays the groundwork for GW's short- and long-term sustainability goals and increases collaboration with our nine schools and colleges in this critical area."

Lewis Rumford, senior advisor of business development at GW, stated, "When we began looking for a director for the Office of Sustainability, we wanted a person who could put strategies into action and create real results. Chapple-Brown was an ideal candidate. Her past experiences will be a great advantage to GW, particularly as the University fulfills the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment." Rumford also helped lead the search and served as co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Sustainability.

Chapple-Brown currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan. She has traveled around the world working with businesses, nonprofits, and academic institutions to develop sustainability plans. She graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences and pre-medicine, and earned two master's degrees in corporate strategy and environmental policy from the University of Michigan.

Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., The George Washington University is committed to business practices, academic programs, and research initiatives for the advancement of a sustainable environment. The University was the first signatory in the District of Columbia to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. Its Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 to coordinate GW's efforts that foster sustainability across the institution.

For more information on the University's sustainability initiatives, please visit

For more information about The George Washington University, visit



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