Community Spotlight - Emma Blandford

Portrait of Emma Blandford

Emma Blandford is the Program & Portfolio Manager for Sustainability Next, an initiative outlined in Georgia Tech’s strategic plan which seeks to establish the Institute as a leader in inclusive, economic, and environmental sustainability in Institute operations; sustainable development education; sustainability leadership and transdisciplinary research; culture and organization; climate solutions; and in using the campus as a living learning laboratory. Emma's role is supported by both the Office of Sustainability, where she reports to Associate Vice President of Sustainability Jennifer Chirico, and the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS) where she reports to Interim Executive Director Beril Toktay. She regularly collaborates with members of both organizations and serves as a bridge between them.

As the portfolio manager for Sustainability Next, Emma serves as a facilitator, connecting like-minded people from across campus so they can collaborate while also helping them access available resources. With sustainability being a broad inter- and multi-disciplinary field, the opportunities for collaboration are endless, but bringing people from diverse fields can also be a challenge. That is where Emma’s background in team-building and project management comes in.

“It’s my job to make sure that people have what they need to do their jobs,” she says. “They're passionate and they’re incredibly intelligent. In sustainability, it's hard to find people who aren't deeply personally attached to their roles. So my goal is to empower them and help them succeed.”

Emma oversees and supports a variety of teams and projects that are working towards established sustainability goals on campus, tracking their progress, providing access to resources, and removing obstacles when necessary.

On any given day Emma could be talking to researchers, campus communicators, facilities staff, students, or organizational leadership. If their roles touch on sustainability, she wants to hear from them and find ways to help them achieve success while bringing them under the Sustainability Next umbrella. If you are already working in sustainability at Georgia Tech or would like to be, feel free to reach out through the Sustainability Next webpage or to Emma directly.

When she isn’t at work Emma enjoys spending time with her wife, two kids, three dogs, and cat- outdoors when possible. She is originally from Connecticut and holds degrees from UConn and Western New England University.

Written by Benjamin Wright

News Contact

Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager, BBISS