Sustainability is a rapidly growing field, offering a broad range and variety of rewarding career opportunities. While a science background is no longer a requirement, strong leadership skills are in high demand. In this webinar, we will talk with alumni and current students at the Virginia Tech Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability about their experience in the Executive Master of Natural Resources graduate program, their mindset and search criteria that led them to this particular program, and how they are applying what they’ve learned to their professional work. 

Topics include:

  • What to consider in your grad school search
  • What to look for in a sustainability-focused degree 
  • Possible and surprising career paths

More about the speakers:

picture of DanielleDanielle Simms graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a B.S. in Environmental Science, is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership-College Leaders Program, and recently earned her master’s degree in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability. She first became interested in climate and environmental justice issues after attending the 1st ever youth climate conference, Power Shift 2007. Danielle has 5 years of experience working for environmental non-profits to defending and supporting environmental policies, developing youth-led clean energy economy projects nationwide, organizing to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and electing climate leaders at all levels of government. Additionally, Danielle has worked on several local and statewide political campaigns in Virginia, and has 3 years of experience working for members of the Virginia House of Delegates. Currently, she works full-time at the Virginia League of Conservation Voters as its Government Relations Manager.


picture of valerieValerie Winrow is currently employed at Cox Communications, Inc., since January 2018, holding the title of Business Analyst, Sustainable Solutions. Previously, Valerie held the position of Director of Corporate Social Responsibility & Governance Engagement, while working at the City of Atlanta. Prior to this, Valerie held the position of Director of Communications & Community Engagement, while working at the City of Atlanta. Valerie occupied this position for 13 years (January 2003 - March 2016). Previously, Valerie held the position of Senior Planner, Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator, while working at the City of Atlanta. Valerie held this role for 5 years (January 1998 - January 2003). Valerie is on par to complete an Executive Masters of Natural Resources in Natural Resources Management and Policy from Virginia Tech, December 2019. 

Valerie has listed the following key skills: Event Planning, Press Releases, Enterprise Software, Corporate Social Responsibility, Leadership, Public Policy, Strategic Planning, Collaborative Problem Solving, Public Affairs, Nonprofits, Event Management, Public Relations, Environmental Awareness, Environmental Compliance, Public Speaking, Community Outreach, Fundraising, Program Management, Politics, Customer Service, Research, Marketing, Management, Creative Writing, Internal Communications, Editing, Land Use, Project Planning, Team Building, Message Development, Marketing Communications, Corporate Communications, Social Media, Environmental Education, Recycling, Six Sigma, Government, Community Development.


picture of saraSara El Choufi is a sustainability and natural resource management professional with a focus on project monitoring, results management and evaluation. She has 10 years’ experience in sustainable development, environmental policy, monitoring, evaluation, climate change, environmental and social safeguards, and gender mainstreaming. Sara currently hold the role of evaluation analyst with the Global Environment Facility within the World Bank Group. She joined the World Bank in 2011 where she held multiple roles in results management, evaluation, and environmental sustainability.
Sara is a Lebanese national who worked extensively on climate change policy in the MENA region with civil society organizations, academic institutions and governmental organizations, and was part of the Lebanese delegation to the climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC.
Sara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Computer Science from the American University of Beirut and an Executive Masters of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech.