Stephanie Boyd appointed permanent director of the Zilkha Center

Stephanie Boyd, acting director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, was appointed to the permanent position of director on Monday. She has served in the interim role since November 2007.
Senior staff were on the verge of launching a search committee to permanently fill Boyd’s post last week, a search they chose to cancel after considering her performance in the past year and qualifications for the position. “It became apparent to senior staff that in the nearly 12 months since she’s been serving in her acting role, Stephanie has done a superior job of providing shape, substance and leadership to the vital work of the Zilkha Center,” Steve Klass, vice president for Operations said. “Stephanie has been able to show how very capably she can lead and coordinate the efforts of diverse constituencies on campus to advance our sustainability goals and how effective she can be in engaging students, faculty and staff with a broad range of green issues.”
Klass noted that her accomplishments in her interim role were quite impressive. She has given three presentations at major national sustainability conferences and co-authored a feature article on sustainability at Williams for Business Officer magazine last year. “The list goes on. [This is] truly an exceptionally diverse portfolio of accomplishments during an interim position,” he said.
As director, Boyd does not envision her changing the course of action she has pursued in the past year. She aims to pursue the recently established greenhouse emission goals – to reduce emissions 10 percent below 1990-91 levels – and improve sustainability. To achieve the latter, she hopes to continue improving recycling performance, reducing paper consumption and using more sustainable building materials, just to name a few sustainable practices. “Becoming a more sustainable institution, will require that we consume resources wisely, that we select products and adopt processes that minimize the production of greenhouse gases and other environmental impacts associated with resource consumption,” she said.
Boyd sees engaging students in these efforts as central to her mission. “Most importantly, we want to find more ways to engage all of our campus community, particularly students, in these efforts,” she said. “Our goal is not only to make Williams more sustainable, to reduce our carbon footprint, but to expand our leadership footprint. Williams students have tremendous potential to expand upon our efforts beyond the Purple Valley.”
Boyd received her undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and received her MBA from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professional. However, her passions for sustainability developed late in her career after serving in a variety of positions that included management consultant, an environmental planner, a project manager on several construction projects, a professor and interim director of Facilities at the College.
“While I’d like to claim that this was all part of a master plan to pursue a career in sustainability, I think that I have just been fortunate to have had a range of professional experiences that seem particularly well-suited to effectively helping the College to manage the wide array of challenges associated with achieving our ambitious goals,” she said.
“Stephanie has already proved that she can provide the vision and leadership to build momentum as Acting Director and it will be fun and interesting to watch her sustain and build on that momentum as the permanent resident of the Director’s office,” Klass said.
The Zilkha Center was founded last September as a result of a $5 million gift from Selim Zilkha, Class of 1946.

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