Our Instructors

I’m grateful for [the instructor’s] career advice and guidance in helping me land my dream job. [Her] classes and insight were incredibly invaluable. I often reference the videos, exercises and reading materials [she] assigned. And, the confidence [she] instilled in us was priceless. Thanks again for [the] coaching and help in paving my career path in the direction I’ve wanted it to move in for the past five years.

                      -Kelly Camunez, commenting on the Capstone Course Instructor



Nurit Katz

UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz is working to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to facilitate creating a world class living laboratory for sustainability at UCLA. As Executive Officer for UCLA Facilities Management, Nurit provides strategy support to make the university more operationally efficient and coordinates with Emergency Management on resilience planning. Facilities Management provides energy to the campus through a highly efficient cogeneration plant, as well as managing landscaping, renovations, operations, and maintenance. Nurit is also an Instructor for UCLA Extension’s Sustainability Certificate Program. Before starting in this position she founded the UCLA Sustainable Resource Center  to provide resources for the community on sustainability. She then served as President of the Graduate Students Association and assisted Dr. Charles Corbett in developing a new interdisciplinary graduate certificate program – Leaders in Sustainability. After graduation she helped launch the UCLA Center for Corporate Environmental Performance. She has worked on a variety of sustainability projects including a project for the City of Los Angeles that focused on transit-oriented development along the Expo Light Rail Line. Her essay on the topic was published in the UCLA Anderson Forecast’s “Solutions for Our City”. Nurit holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a Masters in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a BA in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University. Nurit was honored as one of 100 Inspirational Alumni for the 75th Anniversary of UCLA Anderson. Her course Principles of Sustainability I was recently included in LA Weekly’s Best of LA 2012 as one of the 10 Best Classes in LA. Recently she was recognized as one of the top 100 business trailblazers in the Women Worth Watching 2015 issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal.  She serves on the Executive Committee of the Luskin Center for Innovation and on the Advisory Boards of the LA Sustainable Business Council and the Southern CA Green Business Council as well as the Steering Committee for the USGBC Resilience LA Initiative, the Built Environment Advisory Board for the LA Cleantech Incubator, and the leadership team for Path to Positive LA. Nurit is also working on developing national metrics and ratings for sustainability through the AASHE STARS Steering Committee and building statewide collaboration and best practice sharing through the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference Steering Committee.  In 2010 Nurit completed a full Ironman distance triathlon with Team in Training in support of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

James Bassett

Dr. James C. Bassett holds a lectureship at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He completed his undergraduate work at UCLA and earned his Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology and international business from the Ohio State University. He is the recipient of the Pritzker Fellowship for Environment and Sustainability Education and has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching and advising. Dr. Bassett has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences, meetings and professional workshops in the field of sustainability. In his work as a consultant, his clients have included major corporations with over $50 billion in annual sales. He has served on several boards of directors and currently serves on the advisory board of UCLA Extension’s Sustainability Certificate.

David Pedersen

Dave Pedersen is an accomplished Supply Chain and Sustainability practitioner. He currently works at Guess, Inc. in Los Angeles, with a primary focus on supply chain optimization and sustainable business practices for this $2 billion global consumer brand.  He brings this practitioner’s perspective to his role as an instructor in Sustainable Business practices in UCLA Extension’s Sustainability Certificate program.

As the first Corporate Social Responsibility Director at TOMS, Dave developed and implemented Global Sustainable Supply Chain standards and integrated best practices throughout their operations include manufacturing in seven countries. Through hands-on leadership, Dave led change on several fronts including social compliance and human rights, environmental foot-printing, recyclable products/packaging, and sustainable materials. Dave has operational and consulting experience through roles at Billabong, American Apparel, Golden State Foods and RGP, with a primary focus on sourcing, procurement, sustainability and operations.

Dave additionally serves as Planning Commissioner in Hermosa Beach, California, with a focus on developing a livable and sustainable town.  Dave holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from USC and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.  He is a Certified Professional in Supply Management (ISM) and LEED Green Associate (USGBC).

Anthony Edwards


Michael Smith

Michael D. Smith, Ph.D. is a Principal with ENERCON in Oakland, CA, an architectural engineering, environmental, technical and management services firm providing a broad range of professional services to private, public, and government sector clients throughout the United States and internationally. His current work focuses on providing project and program management, technical analysis and review, policy development and review, and training and education focused on NEPA and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance for some of the nation’s and California’s most complex and controversial projects relating to energy development, transportation infrastructure projects, approvals of genetically engineered plants, commercial space transportation operations, and rulemakings for national motor vehicle fuel economy standards. He frequently provides training and strategic advice for NEPA and related environmental compliance requirements as an adjunct faculty member at numerous educational institutions, including the UC Davis Extension Land Use and Natural Resources Program, the UCLA Extension Sustainability Program, and the NEPA Certificate Program at the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. He has served as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the EPA headquarters Office of Water and Office of Federal Activities in Washington, DC. He has also held positions with the U.S. Department of Interior – National Park Service in Biscayne, Glacier and Yosemite National Parks. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resources Sociology from Utah State University, a M.A. in Geography and Resources from the University of Wyoming, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Bianca Philippi

Maria Barr

Ryan Matulka

Anupom Ganguli

Dr. Anupom Ganguli has over 35 years of professional experience in Air Quality Management and Engineering R&D in Southern California. He has extensive, in-depth knowledge of environmental policy, local, state, & federal government affairs, regulatory agencies and departments, and science and technology advancement. He has multifaceted experiences in environmental policy, regulations and legislations, Advocacy, and Outreach.

Dr. Ganguli received a B. Tech degree with honors from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur, India. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Winsor in Canada, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. He conducted research in heat transfer for the major oil, gas and process industries around the world for almost a decade, before joining the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in 1987. At AQMD, the local government air pollution control authority, Anupom Ganguli worked tirelessly to improve air quality and protect public health for 17 million residents of Southern California. After 25 years with the AQMD, he retired as the Assistant Deputy Executive Officer of Legislative & Public Affairs. He currently teaches a multi-discipline course on Climate Change, Energy and Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Ganguli was recognized with a Certificate of Commendation from the Board of Supervisors, County of Los Angeles and a Resolution of Appreciation from the Southern California Association of Governments in 2012. He also received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the AQMD in 1989.

Dan Beal

Nader Jandaghi

Nader Jandaghi has been in the renewable energy field for the past decade with manufacturers, developers, and IPPs such as Suntech, Bloom Energy, EDF Renewable Energy, and Samsung C&T America.  He has been involved in the development, sales, design, construction, O&M and asset management of C&I and utility projects in the USA and the Middle East.  This includes solar projects as well as fuel cells, wind, and biodiesel.

Nader is currently an advisor for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, and part of the Education Committee for the largest solar power conference in the USA (Solar Power International).  In the past he has worked with the US Department of Energy helping with cleantech grants, as well being a judge for the Cleantech Open.  He is passionate about enabling our economy and stakeholders to take advantage of sustainability.

His teaching philosophy is anchored in practical project applications of sustainability fundamentals.  Students will be expected to apply their business and analytical capabilities to work in a collaborative learning environment for an enjoyable experience.

Before joining the renewable energy industry, he worked in the information technology field as well as the civil engineering and construction sectors.  Nader holds a BS in Structural Engineering from UC Berkeley, and a MS in Construction Management and MBA from the University of Southern California.