About Dr. Anne (Nancy) Degnan
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
~John Quincy Adams
Anne (Nancy) Degnan is the Director, Academic Initiatives for the Earth Institute, Columbia University. The Earth Institute brings together the people and tools needed to address some of the world's most difficult problems, from climate change and environmental degradation, to poverty, disease and the sustainable use of resources. Dr. Degnan spearheads initiatives and programming in education, training and applied research in sustainability science and practice, as well as in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Three educational goals include: 1.) Developing and implementing dynamic curriculum to advance systems-thinking; 2.) informing decisions and practices about environmental sustainability in corporations, non-profit and public sector organizations and in schools (K-12); and, 3.) bridging the science and non-science communities, so that significant and lasting problem-solving in sustainability is achieved.
Degnan is the PI and co-PI on four National Science Foundation (NSF) multi-year grants specific to sustainability and STEM education at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels. Prior to her current position at Earth Institute, Dr. Degnan served as the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC). Her research and writing has focused on decision-making and organizational knowledge management, community based initiatives in education, sustainable development and redevelopment, as well as microfinance and enterprise development. Her interest in decision-making and knowledge management is an outgrowth of her previous work as well as her engagement with the educational professionals in the New York City school system and their response to the events of 9/11.
Degnan has consulted with nonprofit and public sector organizations domestically and internationally including the: Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the United Nations Environment Program, and Development Program, the National Science Foundation, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, The New York City Department of Education, The Kentucky Technical and Community College System, and the Colombian and Mexican governments. Dr. Degnan received her BA from the College of New Rochelle in international relations, and her MPA and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is a life-long resident of New York.
Uncommon Sense, Uncommon Courage: How the New York City School System,
Its Teachers, Leadership, and Students Responded to the Terror of 9/11
Authoring the Story of the New York Schools During 9/11
"Being part of the conversation about education and safety requires us to ask the questions that we may not have asked before ... and then to support each other in making sure that the solutions we come up with are implemented, assessed and consistently revisited for excellence sake. I would offer that this is our highest responsibility to our children and each other."
~ Dr. Nancy Degnan, June 4, 2015