McDonough School of Business
First cohort of the MS-ESM program.
News Story

Meet the First Cohort of the Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability Management Program

The inaugural class of the M.S. in Environment and Sustainability Management (MS-ESM) joined Georgetown this fall, coming from a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds and all sharing a common theme: the desire to make an impact and improve sustainability issues on a global scale. 

The MS-ESM is a joint degree that combines scientific knowledge with business principles to help students transition into leaders that will address immediate environmental concerns and help build a more sustainable future within any organization.

The degree was created in collaboration with the McDonough School of Business, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Earth Commons Institute with the understanding that science and business principles must go together to achieve sustainability goals.

The MS-ESM Class of 2023 cohort represents 20 different countries with a broad variety of educational background and expertise. Of the 45-person cohort, 60% self identify as female and the average student age is 26. The incoming class of students includes 25% underrepresented minorities, 36% international students, and a United States diversity of 34%. Student previously studies a range of business and environment subjects before joining the program, including environmental science (40%), government or international studies (16%), economics (13%), business (7%), humanities (7%), finance (4%), and more. 

“We were pleased to welcome an inaugural cohort to the MS-ESM program that brings together a diverse and passionate group of professionals with a shared mission to build a more sustainable future,” said Shelly Heinrich, associate dean and director of MS-ESM Admissions. “They will learn how to blend environmental science concepts with business principles in a unique interdisciplinary format with unparalleled access to industry leaders, policymakers, global corporations, nonprofits, and experts that only Georgetown could offer. We look forward to seeing what this cohort accomplishes over the next year and beyond.”

Meet a few students from the first cohort of the MS-ESM Class of 2023: 

Mia Astudillo (MS-ESM’23) spent most of her life in Metro Manila, Philippines, where she received her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of the Philippines at Diliman. After spending the beginning of her career in asset management, Astudillo decided that she wanted to invest her time in helping society and the planet and help mitigate the effects of climate change. She chose the MS-ESM program because of its approach to tackling sustainability issues from the perspectives of science and business and hopes to merge her experience in finance with education to direct funding and resources to those who need it the most. 

Jimmy Beta (MS-ESM’23) is originally from Chimanimani in the eastern part of Zimbabwe. After graduating with a degree in accounting and finance, Beta worked in the finance industry before pivoting into sustainability management consulting. He hopes to combine his previous experiences in accounting and finance with climate change, environmental, and sustainability management through the MS-ESM program. 

Daniel Bomber (MS-ESM’23) received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington and served in the Peace Corps in Lesotho, South Africa, as a math and life skills teacher after graduation. In his free time, he enjoys exploring nature through hiking, and currently works for the Environmental Protection Agency as a program analyst in the Superfund Program. Following his completion of the MS-ESM program, Bomber will continue to solve environmental problems in the government and public sector arena. 

Kaylen Chung (MS-ESM’23) received her undergraduate degrees in advertising and French from Pennsylvania State University in 2017. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Chung grew up on a subtropical island with immense biodiversity and has always felt an innate reverence for nature. Taiwan’s high recycling rates and well-developed waste management system inspired her to live sustainably and seek ways to protect the environment for future generations. Chung hopes to integrate science and business principles with her own personal skills to help build a more sustainable future.

Tristan Gess (MS-ESM’23) is originally from Denver, Colorado, and received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia. Growing up, his family was involved in sustainability efforts which inspired him to work in biology and chemistry labs supported by classes in commerce and management. During his undergraduate career, Gess was heavily involved in Green Athletics, an initiative to implement zero-waste practices and support student-athlete leadership in sustainability, and worked on enabling and educating the Charlottesville community about sustainability. He hopes to make an immediate impact upon entering the sustainability field after completing the MS-ESM program and work towards a more environmentally friendly future for corporations and individuals alike.

Eleni Orfanos (MS-ESM’23) earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies with a concentration in sustainability from American University as a part of its three-year Global Scholars Program. Prior to joining the MS-ESM program, Orfanos worked at the Department of Justice and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. She currently works as a legal assistant at the Department of Justice specializing in maritime pollution cases while completing the MS-ESM program. She chose the MS-ESM degree in order to build upon the international perspectives on sustainability that she developed during her undergraduate studies, with the goal of eventually working as a lawyer specializing in environmental and energy law.

Learn more about the MS-ESM Class of 2023 here.

Class of 2023
M.S. in Environment and Sustainability Management