Institute Staff

Priscila Baez

Events & Communications Coordinator

Priscila coordinates, promotes, and hosts the different events organized by the Earth Commons. She believes that impactful events can enrich our understanding of sustainability and our role in taking care of the environment. Priscila holds a Master’s degree in Project Management from Georgetown University and a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from USFQ in her home country of Ecuador.

Priscila has managed several study-abroad programs, grants and special projects sponsored by different federal agencies and universities in the US and South America. Her expertise in project management and communications has broadened her understanding of the complex interactions that must be considered in the successful execution of projects. A global citizen, she loves animals, traveling and being outdoors.

Justine Bowe

Director of Communications

Justine Bowe is a creative communicator, musician and multi-media artist. She joined the Earth Commons team to communicate the initiative’s work to broad audiences in order to expand its impact. She brings a strategic, creative and open mind to the university in hopes of creating a more sustainable, vibrant future.

Bowe brings a background in communications, strategy, and program development from over 4 years at the Smithsonian Institution and previously at start-up social enterprises and non-profits. After years of touring the country playing music, she continues to produce, record and perform from Boston, MA.

Brianna Butler

Operations Manager

Brianna is a Washington, DC, native. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Delaware State University and is currently studying to receive her Master’s in Higher Education Administration at Georgetown University. Brianna strives to make higher education more affordable and accessible to marginalized communities. She loves hanging out with family and friends, cooking and baking, and binge-watching series in her free time.

Jennifer Eagleton

Associate Director, Environmental Justice Program

Jennifer works closely with the GEJP director to initiate, implement, expand, and evaluate GEJP’s international programs with governments, businesses, and communities, and as such, her responsibilities include working closely with the GEJP director to build, support, and deepen collaborations with faculty and other campus partners across the University as well as international partners and collaborators who are integral to advancing the GEJP mission.  Jennifer also works closely with the GEJP director and other team members on sponsored research proposals and awards; philanthropic partnerships; long-term financial planning and annual budgets; communication strategy, narratives, and materials; and conferences and convenings. In addition, Jennifer serves on the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ Laudato Si’ Commission, which is tasked with developing transformative proposals with the 28 affiliated AJCU members to advance justice, sustainability, and integral ecology.  

Thriving within entrepreneurial ventures at research institutions, Jennifer has worked to accelerate transdisciplinary research, drive science-based conservation action, and strengthen science education.

Before joining GEJP, she was the Director of Interdisciplinary Initiatives at the Georgetown Environment Initiative, a cross-campus effort to advance the University’s contribution to global environmental and sustainability efforts.  Before Georgetown, Jennifer worked to launch the programs and partnerships of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the new transdisciplinary institute at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, as its Associate Director for Partnership Programs.

In addition, Jennifer worked for seven years at the Field Museum in Chicago where she worked with the biologists, anthropologists, and educators of the Environmental and Conservation Programs to support science-based action in the creation and management of national parks and other protected areas in South America. Jennifer also directed online programs connecting the public to the behind-the-scenes science of the Museum, and she started the Museum’s Educational Media Division, where she led the team of scientists and educators who sent Museum scientists and collections into classrooms nationwide through television broadcasts, webcasts, online curricula, print educator guides, and portable exhibit cases. 

Jennifer began her career as an employment relations attorney at Winston & Strawn. She has an MBA from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and she graduated with honors from Princeton University.

Svetlana Gureyeva

Executive Assistant

Svetlana is an Executive Assistant at the Earth Commons, where she assists with scheduling and office operations. She studied History and Gender Studies at Christopher Newport University.

Prior to joining The Earth Commons Svetlana helped manage day-to-day operations at a clean energy focused lobbying and communications firm. On weekends she enjoys watching soccer and taking her dog on the W&OD trail.

Treasa McDonald

Manager of Research and Special Projects

Treasa facilitates the multidisciplinary research initiatives and activities for the Earth Commons. She provides proposal development and grant management support, and also manages the award cycles for the institute’s seed funding grants, such the ECo Impact and Green Commons awards. Treasa also functions as the research manager for the Marra lab team. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, she has a BA in Irish Studies and an MA in American History.

With extensive experience in higher education administration both in the US and abroad, Treasa came to the Earth Commons from American University, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland before that. An avid music fan, she enjoys seeing and playing music, wildlife photography, and anything outdoors.

Maria A. Petrova

Director of Program Development, the Earth Commons

Dr. Petrova joined the Earth Commons (formerly the Georgetown Environment Initiative, or “GEI”) in September 2019 to develop and launch the Georgetown Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability Management (MS-ESM). Before joining GEI, she managed a UMass Boston-based transdisciplinary NSF IGERT “Coasts and Communities” program dedicated to training PhD and Master’s degree students with different academic backgrounds to become future environmental leaders. Prior to that, she also worked in academia outside of the US – in Greece and Bulgaria – in the offices of development, alumni relations, admissions, recruitment, and marketing. She is teaching the Environmental Sciences 1&2, Energy Transitions, Sustainability Management and Capstone courses for MS-ESM.

Dr. Petrova completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Science at Oregon State University, where she focused on examining public opinion on a nascent policy issue – the introduction of wave energy in the state of Oregon. Subsequently, she completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on public acceptance of wind energy in Massachusetts. Maria publishes extensively on public perceptions of renewable energy in the US and in Eastern Europe. She has taught courses on environmental policy and politics, sustainability, climate change, human geography, and communications at Oregon State University, Emerson College, and the US Fulbright Program in Bulgaria. Dr. Petrova serves as a section co-editor of the UC Press journal Case Studies in the Environment, and is an Associate of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. She holds an MA in Marketing, Advertising and PR from the University of Sheffield and a BA in Business Administration from the American University in Bulgaria. A native of Bulgaria, she enjoys learning about cultural differences firsthand through reading and  traveling with her husband and two daughters. 

Michael Tschiderer

Chief of Staff

Michael Tschiderer is the Chief of Staff at the Earth Commons, where he oversees the execution of our strategic plan and directs operations, finances, and planning through a senior leadership role. Tschiderer holds an M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus on Higher Education from Boston University.

Tschiderer has been working with Interdisciplinary research organizations for over 10 years. Prior to joining The Earth Commons, he served as Associate Campus Director for Financial Planning and Analysis in the Office of the Provost: Financial & Business Services, and as Director of Finance and Operations at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown. He was previously a Manager of Finance and Administration at Boston University.

Graduate programs

Seneca Lee

Program Coordinator, MS-ESM

Seneca Lee plays an active role in fulfilling all academic and administrative responsibilities to support students, applicants, and faculty within the MS-ESM program. She helps administer all day-to-day and on-the-ground activities by working closely with graduate students, collaborating with the program co-directors, and acting as a liaison in connecting MS-ESM students with a wide variety of University resources. Prior to Georgetown, Seneca worked in a variety of sectors maintaining her passions for education, the environment, and justice. Seneca received her Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability from the University of Michigan where she studied urban agriculture and soil remediation.

Kristen Nieves

Program Coordinator, MS-EIA

Kristen plays an active role in fulfilling all academic and administrative responsibilities to support students, applicants, and faculty within the MS-EIA program. She helps administer all day-to-day and on-the-ground activities by working closely with graduate students, collaborating with the program directors, and acting as a liaison in connecting MS-EIA students with a wide variety of University resources. Kristen is passionate about advancing sustainability efforts locally and internationally. Kristen has several years of experience in the higher education and environmental nonprofit sectors. She has a background in international studies, sustainability, and sociology after attending the University of Florida and the Honors College at Miami Dade College.  

International Sites

Katerina Downward

Managing Director, Greece

Katerina Downward has committed her professional life to defending human rights, with leadership experience in the fields of humanitarian response, project and program management in NGO settings and a longstanding commitment to social justice. She joins the Earth Commons Institute as Managing Director for Greece, where she previously headed the Department of Education & Integration at an award-winning Greek non-governmental organization at the forefront of efforts to protect and support refugees. Over the six years she served METAdrasi – Action for Migration and Development, she set up several schools for refugee children on the Greek frontier islands where most refugee arrivals through the nation’s sea borders occur, and as their department head, led a team of more than 60 educators overseeing the implementation of 17 education programs across the country, serving more than 3000 refugees and migrants annually. Additionally, she helmed METAdrasi’s program supporting survivors of torture, through certification and training of frontline workers in identification of survivors. Previously, she worked at an education nonprofit in New York partnering with under-resourced schools to implement curricular materials on social and environmental justice issues. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and obtained a Master’s degree in Human Rights, with distinction, from the London School of Economics. During her formative and academic years, she supported human rights and civil society organizations across four continents and interned at the Washington Peace Centre and Amnesty International.

Raha Hakimdavar

Senior Advisor to the Dean of Georgetown University Earth Commons and Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar

Raha Hakimdavar is Senior Advisor to the Dean of Georgetown University Earth Commons and the Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar in the areas of climate, environment, and innovation. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the Founder and CEO of Zyon Space, a climate-tech startup that develops climate adaptation solutions using the vantage point of space.

Dr. Hakimdavar was previously the Director of Space Sciences at Ball Aerospace, where she led business strategy and engagements with NASA and the broader space sciences community. She served in civil servant appointments with the USDA and NASA prior to this. At the USDA Forest Service, she was the national watershed program hydrologist and acting national program lead for remote sensing and geospatial analysis research, successfully leading initiatives and securing funds to integrate satellite data into forest level decision-making. Her leadership as a Presidential Management Fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center led to a revision of UN Environment’s reporting methodology for the Sustainable Development Goal on Water and Sanitation and creation of a US Government wide global hydrology model for water security that is currently being operated by the US Air Force. Dr. Hakimdavar has served as a technical consultant for UN Environment, the World Bank, and USAID on disaster risk reduction, water, and forestry projects for over a decade.

Dr. Hakimdavar holds a B.S. in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in hydrology from Columbia University. She served as a Fulbright Fellow in Water Management in the Netherlands and was awarded the 2018 KLM Sustainability and Innovation award for her efforts.

Peter Poulos

Director of Partner Relations, Greece

Peter Poulos has worked with over 100 international, national and local non-profit organizations and political candidates. His work with non-profits has raised millions of dollars for U.S. senate and congressional candidates, HIV/AIDS research, breast cancer research, civil rights, homelessness, and the environment.

Mr. Poulos is the founder and president of Poulos Brothers Inc., a fundraising and non-profit strategy firm. Mr. Poulos recently served at the Executive Director of The Hellenic Initiative (THI), a global not for profit organization that raises funds to support Greek NGOs and entrepreneurs. He is also a partner in the gourmet Greek food company Greka Icons that produces Navarino Icons and TREA food lines.

A third generation Greek American, Mr. Poulos is an active member of the Greek Diaspora community. While living in San Francisco he established and served as the Founding Director of the San Francisco Greek Film Festival. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the American Hellenic University, the board of advisors of TAVROS and BREATHE Hellas and co-chair of The Hellenic Initiative’s International Ambassador’s program.

Mr. Poulos is a graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University where he received his degree in International Relations with a concentration in Modern Greek History.

Since 2007, Mr. Poulos has been living and working in Athens, Greece and New York.