Sustainable Summer’s leadership team is comprised of highly experienced individuals from the education, non-profit, business, and academic sectors. Day to day management of Sustainable Summer is overseen by Executive Director and Founder Jeff Sharpe in consultation with our Board of Directors and advisors. Sustainable Learning Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporated in the state of New York for the purpose of facilitating experiential and theoretical learning on the subject of environmental sustainability. Under the name Sustainable Summer, we operate environmental leadership pre-college and study abroad programs for high school students.
Jeff brings extensive experience operating summer travel programs for high school students to Sustainable Summer. He is a former partner and director of Career Explorations, a summer internship program for high school students, and Vertex Academic Services, an educational consulting company. Jeff subsequently served as Executive Director for Discovery Internships before leaving to found Sustainable Summer. Jeff began his professional career as a program director with Kaplan, Inc. and has been working with young people for over a decade as a tutor, mentor, and coach, including several years as a youth wilderness guide and facilitator. Jeff has a BA from Bucknell University and an MA from Dartmouth College, where his thesis research focused on globalization’s impact on water resource management in developing countries using Ecuador as a case study. Jeff is a former Division I swimmer and an avid skier and whitewater kayaker. He enjoys adventure travel, playing guitar, following the latest news in politics, and environmental conservation advocacy. Jeff is the Executive Director and a Board Member of Sustainable Learning Inc.
Anne has served as a teacher, mentor and travel group leader for high school students for more than ten years. She graduated from Wesleyan University with high honors from the interdisciplinary program College of Letters, and earned her MA in Classics from St. John’s College. For eight years, she directed a cultural immersion program for high school students in Nice, France for Summerfuel, a pioneer in the education travel industry, and managed the company’s study abroad offerings during the academic year. She is currently the director of summer programs at Berkeley Carroll, an independent school in Brooklyn, and is a board member for the St. John’s College Alumni Association. Anne has traveled abroad extensively, and has studied organic agriculture in both North and South America. In her free time, Anne enjoys reading and writing about food justice, cooking, white-water rafting, biking and bocce. Anne serves as a Board Member and Officer for Sustainable Learning Inc.
Board of Directors and Advisory Council
Professor Conklin is a cultural and medical anthropologist at Vanderbilt University specializing in the ethnography of indigenous peoples of lowland South America (Amazonia). Her research focuses on the anthropology of the body, religion and ritual, health and healing, death and mourning, the politics of indigenous rights, and ecology, environmentalism, and cultural and religious responses to climate change. She teaches courses on anthropological theory, medicine and healing, indigenous peoples, and environmental issues. Beth serves as a curriculum advisor to Sustainable Summer.
David is the President and owner of ASA Summerfuel, a leader in pre-college, leadership, and study abroad programs for high school students for over 30 years. David completed his BA in History at Colgate University and worked in advertising in London and New York before joining Summerfuel in 1996. David directed ASA’s Oxford Experience for 4 years and their Barcelona program for 10 years. He works year round in Summerfuel’s New York office where he oversees marketing and strategy. David advises Sustainable Learning Inc. on business strategy, operations, and risk management.
Paul is the President and owner of P.L. Thomas, which sources and markets high-quality, natural raw materials from around the globe for the food, beverage, supplements, and cosmeceuticals industries. Paul has been involved in and derived joy from leading international and domestic community development projects for most of his career. He has taught experimental chemistry in Peru, set up physics labs and taught science in rural Malaysia, consulted with AID and UN on agro-industry in Africa, set up self-sustaining water supply business in the Sudan, and founded a very successful competition awarding cash prizes to high school students who make impressive contributions to the improvement of race relations. Paul has degrees from Princeton, Harvard, and NYU Stern. Paul advises Sustainable Learning Inc on corporate strategy and operations.
Allison holds a B.A. in English and French from Bowdoin College and completed her Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Allison served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and has considerable experience directing study abroad programs for high school students. Most recently, she has worked on a research project in Malawi, Southeast Africa with Save the Children.
Connor is currently a senior at Madison High School in Madison, NJ and serves as the board’s student representative. He is an alumnus of Sustainable Summer and was a film fellow during the Sustaining the Amazon and Galapagos programs in 2014. In college, he plans to study Environmental Science and Geology while continuing to pursue his interest in film making. He developed his love for the outdoors by attending Camp Dudley in the Adirondack Mountains for five years, including a final year as a member of the Camp’s leadership.
Liz brings extensive experience in both education and non-profit management to Sustainable Summer. She has served as a development director and/or executive director in various non-profit organizations. After college she worked first as a social worker and then as a high school English teacher, before returning to graduate school. She later returned to teaching at the Bridge Academy charter school in Bridgeport, CT, where she had previously served on the Board of Directors for several years. Liz has a BA from UC Berkeley, where she also received a secondary teaching credential; an MA from San Francisco State University; and an MBA from NYU Stern. Liz is a former member of the Board of Education and Representative Town Committee in Darien, CT, and she was a representative to the 2000 Democratic National Convention. She has served on numerous non-profit boards in Connecticut and is currently on the University Farm Circle board at UC Davis. She enjoys travel, vegetable and flower gardening, cooking, reading and following the latest political news. Liz serves as a Board Member and Officer for Sustainable Learning Inc.
Professor Sneddon holds joint appointments in the Environmental Studies and Geography Departments at Dartmouth College. Chris completed his Ph.D. dissertation (Altered rivers: socio-ecological transformation, water conflicts and the state in Northeast Thailand) at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on the political ecology of river basin development, primarily in Southeast Asia. His recent work focuses on transnational river basins (such as the Mekong and Zambezi), conflicts over water in a variety of settings, and the linkages among power, scale and institutions in the context of river basin management. Other interests include: the environment and social theory; environmental politics and policy; environmental history; and qualitative research methods. Chris serves as a curriculum advisor to Sustainable Summer.
Katherine is a corporate attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell with experience serving on the board of directors or as pro bono counsel for various educational non-profit organizations. Katherine holds a B.A. in English from Yale University and J.D./LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Duke University School of Law. She has studied and worked in Europe and East Asia and loves rock climbing. She is also currently on the board of Zomppa.