Jessica Prata

Ms. Prata is the Assistant Vice President in the Office of Sustainability at Columbia University in New York City. She leads a University-wide initiative that brings together staff, students and faculty to set and achieve goals towards a more Sustainable Columbia. In collaboration with leadership in both University Facilities and Operations and The Climate School, Ms. Prata designed a governance model to centralize this important work through the Senior Sustainability Advisory Committee and a number of focus teams. Ms. Prata led the creation of the university's first ever sustainability plan in 2017. To position Columbia as a climate leader she ensured the second plan, Plan 2030, set science based targets vetted by University climate scientists and the UNEP to put the University on a path to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. Ms. Prata has served as the Co-Chair of the Ivy Plus Sustainability Consortium, and as an Advisory Board member for the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN).

Prior to her current role, Ms. Prata served as the first named Corporate Sustainability Officer at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP), of the top ten hospitals in the nation by US News & World Report where she launched an expansive sustainability program that functioned at both the grassroots and executive level and sparked an organizational shift towards sustainable practices and policy. Under her leadership, NYP received myriad environmental excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth between 2009 and 2013, as well as Energy Star awards from the Environmental Protection Agency. Previously, Ms. Prata helped manage the environment of care regulatory efforts at NYP after serving as a senior fundraiser for Weill Cornell Medical Center. Before transitioning to healthcare, Ms. Prata held positions specializing in corporate broadcast communications.

Ms. Prata received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Colgate University, and a Masters of Public Administration degree at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).