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Meet Dr. Golden
Founder & Faculty Director

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Dr. Jay Golden
Pontarelli Professor of Environmental Sustainability & Finance

Dr. Jay Golden is the inaugural Pontarelli Professor of Environmental Sustainability and Finance at Syracuse University.  Dr. Golden is an internationally recognized researcher and academic of the dynamics of the global sustainability transition including risks, unintended consequences and opportunities. 

Golden received his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Cambridge and his master's degree in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development from a joint program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge. He also holds a Professional Mastery of Project Management Certificate from Stanford University, an MLE in Higher Education from Harvard, and has a B.A. degree in Management.

Golden comes to Syracuse after serving as a faculty member, director of research centers and university executive. Golden was one of the first faculty members in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University where he also founded and directed an EPA designated National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations. Golden later founded and co-directed the Sustainability Consortium, a leading academic-industry-government partnership on Corporate Sustainability with a membership of over 150 of the world’s leading manufacturers, retailers and brands.


At Duke University, Dr. Golden was the faculty chair of the Business & Environment Program and Director of the Duke Center for Sustainability and Commerce.  Golden also served as Associate Vice Provost for Research and was appointed Executive-in-Charge of the Duke Corporate Relations Office working with global companies, CEOs and Boards.

Golden was named Vice Chancellor and professor of sustainable engineering at East Carolina University a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system and later served as the President of Wichita State University. 

Author of more than 150 articles, Golden has participated in 100 invited presentations and more than 150 media interviews around the world. He has testified before Congress on sustainability and secured more than $30 million in research funding. 

Golden was presented the Faculty Pioneer Award by the Aspen Institute for his leadership in the field of sustainability education and research. He was also named one of the 100 most influential people in business ethics by the Ethisphere Institute. Dr. Golden was inducted in the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society.

In 2017, Golden was nominated by peers and appointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  He has also served on a number of boards and committees including regional and state economic development and innovation councils as well as serving on committees for the United Nations Environment Programme.

  • Appointed to the US EPA Board of Scientific Counselors

  • Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award for Sustainability Research & Education

  • Ethisphere's list of 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics

  • Founded & Co-Directed both the National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations as well as the Sustainability Consortium

  • Frequent guest speaker to industry & government and global media

  • Editor-in-Chief: Sustainability & Reverse Logistics Section-Logistics


PhD       Cambridge University - Sustainable Engineering

MPhil    Cambridge University + MIT:  Env. Engineering

BA.          Univ. Phoenix / Arizona State Univ:   Management

SCPM   Stanford University-professional program

MLE       Harvard University-professional program 

Organizations That Have Engaged Dr. Golden 
(partial example list of consulting, talks, research)
  • Walmart, Best Buy, Asda (UK)

  • Lotte (S. Korea)

  • Cemex (Mexico)

  • BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany)

  • DuPont, Dow, 3M

  • Lockheed Martin

  • KPMG, Deloitte

  • REI,  Under Armour, Belk

  • Phelps Dodge, Peabody Energy

  • Syngenta, John Deere, CAT

  • Lenovo, Lexmark

  • Duke Energy, APS, SRP

  • Ford, Maersk, 

  • Retail Industry Association

  • Sustainable Apparel Coalition (Global)

  • U.S. Congress + Testifying

  • General Services Admin

  • United Nations Environment Programme

  • US Dept. of Agriculture


  • Green Chemistry & Commerce Council

  • City of Durban (S. Africa)

  • Mayor of Londons Office

  • City & Mayor of Phoenix

  • City of Chicago & Kings County (WA)

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Chinese Academy of Sciences + Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research (China)

  • Brazilian Ministry of Industrial Development