State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

MPA Alumnus Honored with NASPAA Spotlight Award

Todd Miner, a 2011 alumnus of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, was honored by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) for his work as the Director of Friends of Rockaway, an organization devoted to recovery after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The NASPAA Spotlight Awards were announced on November 5 at the annual NASPAA conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Miner was chosen from nominations submitted by NASPAA’s nearly 300 member schools from across the country for his work. Ten honorees were chosen based on their contributions toward solving major issues facing those in the public sector.

“The 10 nominees have made great contributions to their communities and demonstrate the ideals of public service,” said George Dougherty, Jr., a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs who chaired the awards subcommittee. “It is a pleasure for us to highlight their contributions.”

Todd has combined his years of experience with disaster relief with his MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs to bring aid to those who need it most.

“For me, public service is about community and the ability to change lives. At Friends of Rockaway, we were able to see the impact we had on a daily basis,” Miner said. “There is nothing more gratifying than bringing a family back home.”


Students in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program enroll in a year-long, 54-credit program offered at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in partnership with the Earth Institute.

Since it began in 2002, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program has given students the hands-on experience, and the analytical and decision-making tools to implement effective environmental and sustainable management policies. The program’s 682 graduates have advanced to jobs in domestic and international environmental policy, working in government, private and non-profit sectors. Their work involves issues of sustainability, resource use and global change, in fields focused on air, water, climate, energy efficiency, food, agriculture, transportation and waste management. They work as consultants, advisers, project managers, program directors, policy analysts, teachers, researchers and environmental scientists and engineers.

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