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Howard University Hires Mary-Ann Ibeziako to Lead Sustainability Practices: 4 Things to Know

July 8, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Howard University has hired former Virginia Tech Chief Sustainability Officer Mary-Ann Ibeziako as associate VP of environmental health, sustainability, and safety (EHS/S).

Here are four things to know about Howard University's sustainability strategy, and Mary-Ann Ibeziako's experience and expertise.

1. University Overview: Howard University, founded in 1867, is a Historically Black Research University in Washington, D.C. The university, spanning 14 schools and colleges, serves roughly 9,700 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

2. Sustainability Strategy and Goals: Howard University has an Office of Sustainability that "will develop and manage a strategic plan that will place Howard University among the top sustainable institutions of higher learning in the United States," though the office's website doesn't mention specific carbon reduction or net-zero goals.

The university in early 2022 selected VEIC and CustomerFirst Renewables (now called Coho Climate) to "develop a robust, future-oriented 5-year campus Sustainability Plan." Around the same time, the university created a Sustainability Leadership Council -- which includes "various sub-committees comprised of students, faculty, staff, and local leaders in sustainability."

The sustainability efforts also align with the Howard Forward 2024 strategic plan, which launched in 2019. We're curious to see if a new five-year plan -- perhaps Howard Forward 2029 -- is in the works.

3. Mary-Ann Ibeziako's Role, Experience: Ibeziako will "lead initiatives to foster sustainable practices across the University, with a specific focus on reducing environmental impact and promoting a culture of sustainability. She will collaborate with various departments to integrate renewable energy solutions, optimize infrastructure planning, and develop partnerships that align with the Howard Forward 2024 strategic plan," the university said.

Ibeziako previously was assistant vice president for Infrastructure/Sustainability and chief sustainability officer (CSO) at Virginia Tech. In that position, she "played a pivotal role in developing and initiating the VT CAC 2020 carbon neutrality plan." She also guided the development of a Utility Master Plan, essential for supporting infrastructure in meeting strategic goals, Howard University said.

Tashni-Ann Dubroy, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Howard University

4. Leadership Perspectives: In a prepared statement, Tashni-Ann Dubroy, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Howard University, said: “Mary-Ann Ibeziako is a respected leader in sustainability thanks to her innovative approach to environmental health and dedication to creating sustainable communities. We are confident that her experience and expertise will help us achieve our ambitious sustainability goals and make a lasting impact on the broader community. We are delighted to welcome her to Howard University.”

Added Ibeziako: “I am thrilled to join Howard University and contribute to its goal of becoming a climate-positive campus. I look forward to collaborating with the Howard community to advance sustainability initiatives and create a more resilient and environmentally conscious campus.”

Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs): Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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