Ana Cristina Merino, President
With seven years of experience in relationship management, product and innovation, Ana Cristina has placed impact at the very center of her career from the very beginning. Incursioning from a very early stage in her career in the entrepreneurship ecosystem of LATAMA, Ana has worked for organizations like Endeavor and growing startups like Jüsto, managing innovation projects and events for industry leaders such as Cisco and Walmart, and leading strategic innovation projects to create technological products to accelerate the company’s growth.
As of today, Ana Cristina leads the fundraising efforts in the US. for FUNDES Catalyst, a venture builder creating companies that address the most latent problems of the bottom of the pyramid in LATAM. She is currently based in New York as she is pursuing a Master’s in Sustainability Management at Columbia University.
Valentina Munoz Venezian, VP of Communications
Collaborating to create a better world has always been Valentina’s main motivation. She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration and a MS in Marketing.
Before joining Columbia last Fall, she worked for PepsiCo in Chile for 5 years, navigating the consumer packaged goods industry and leading the Innovation agenda for Ecommerce in Latin America
She is a foodie enthusiast who enjoys spending time in nature, hiking in the Patagonia, playing Volleyball and practicing Yoga.
Prateek Dwivedi, VP of Academic Affairs
With over nine years of work experience, Prateek joined the SUMA program full-time in Spring 2023. After graduating with an engineering degree, Prateek started his career as a software developer in India but spurred by an interest in corporate social responsibility transitioned to being a social worker where he worked for the social development of a vulnerable tribal community.
Prateek likes to read, watch movies and visits museums in his free time, and supports Liverpool FC whenever they play.
Tiffany Hodge, VP of Community Outreach
Tiffany joined SUMA in Fall 2021 after completing her studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she graduated with honors in economics and environmental justice. During her undergraduate studies she focused on the socioeconomic factors that contribute to environmentally unjust communities. Her sustainability focuses in SUMA include: ocean conservation, food security and healthy communities.
Tiffany is a full-time student and is on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters New York’s Young Professional Committee where she serves as Events Chair. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis, volunteering for various local non-profits, pilates, chasing the sun, and finding the best tacos.
Daniel Perkes, VP of Administration and Finance
Daniel joined the SUMA program in the Fall of 2021. He studied Economics and Finance at the William & Mary and began his career in economic consulting at Cornerstone Research. Next, Daniel worked on the Rewards team at Capital One. However, during the pandemic he decided to do a career pivot into clean tech and sustainability.
Daniel is interested in electric vehicles, energy storage, and zero-carbon energy technologies. In his free time, he enjoys singing, hiking, biking, and skiing.
Elsa Johnson, VP of Sustainable Operations
Encouraging environmental change has been the core of Elsa’s career over the past few years. As a Project Manager her career has focused on building sustainable initiatives, like developing ReFashion Week with DSNY. A previous AmeriCorps alumni she joined EDF Climate Corps in 2021 and stayed with her host organization Nice- Pak/PDI as CSR Manager. Working within the supply chain to make proactive impact in engaging suppliers on ESG initiatives, developing the CSR report and reporting to RSPO, CDP and FSC.
Her interests are in sustainable products and supply chains. In her free time she MC’s SoFar shows, likes long walks with her high energy dog and planning a horse riding endurance trip.
Abhimanyu Tyagi, VP of Events
Abhimanyu has been at SUMA since Fall 2022 as he wanted to explore the policy as well as economic frontiers of sustainability. He has finished his MSc. in Sustainable Energy Engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in 2019, with a focus on energy in buildings.
Thereafter, he worked in India as a Sustainability Consultant. Specifically on ESG data analysis & benchmarking, GHG Accounting and sustainability reporting
In his free time, Abhimanyu enjoys reading books, exploring nature, playing the guitar and finding a new place to travel to.
Vittoria Zaniboni, Symposium Co-Chair
Vittoria has a master’s degree in Management with a major in Innovation and Entrepreneurship obtained from Luiss Guido Carli University and Gothenburg University. Vittoria lived in Italy, Sweden, Germany, and Mexico and she has more than 5 years of international working experience in strategy and business development.
Vittoria is currently based in New York as she is pursuing a Master’s in Sustainability Management at Columbia University. She has a multifaceted background in sustainability, policy, and economics that provides her with the tool to accelerate the sustainability transitions.
She is a purpose-oriented woman interested in creating social and environmental impact. She talks about nature-based solutions, carbon sequestration, and water replenishment. She is outgoing and full of energy, and she likes to build bridges between people. Vittoria loves horses, yoga, cooking and culture. She is a professional horseback rider and she was a member of the Italian team at the European Dressage Championships.
Kristin Stuge, Symposium Co-Chair
Kristin enrolled in the SUMA program in January 2022 and expected to graduate in the spring 2023.
Kristin has an engineering bachelor form University of Exeter where she wrote her thesis on circular economy. Before joining Columbia she has worked in an IT start-up in Oslo and taken a course in programming at University of Oslo.
She’s a keen skier and spent the first corona wave skiing in northern Norway. Other than that she enjoys hiking, tennis, and exploring the cultural scene of New York City.