Dual BA Alumna on the Interdisciplinary Richness of a Career in Sustainability
Ciara Kavanagh '20GS, a sustainable development specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, spoke alongside fellow GS alumni working in sustainability at a panel event on Columbia’s Morningside campus.
April 05, 2023
At a Dinner and Discussion event hosted by the GS Alumni Relations team, informal panels that bring together alumni and current students within specific fields of interest, Ciara Kavanagh '20GS spoke alongside fellow GS alumni Damienne Harfouche '14G and Lyndon Park '08GS on the expansive possibilities of careers in sustainability. “Sustainability is everything, all at once,” said Kavanagh, who currently serves as a sustainable development specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. “It’s how current generations can develop in a way that meets their needs without jeopardizing the needs of future generations, and it has economic, social, environmental, and governance dimensions to it.”
“Sustainability is kind of a beautiful orchestra piece, and we all need to find our own instrument in it.”
Kavanagh, who is an inaugural graduate of the Dual BA Program between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University and majored in European studies at Trinity and political science at Columbia, said that her Dual BA experience had been fundamental in preparing her for the interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities of her current role. “What I found at GS was that the world was my oyster,” she said. “You have access to experts, to classes, to the Career Center, and to other GS students and alumni. By being in GS, I felt uniquely positioned to understand all that’s going on within sustainability, especially how we bring people together and listen to everybody in the sustainability discussion.”
Alongside her fellow panelists, Kavanagh encouraged the students and alumni at the event, many of whom are pursuing studies and careers in sustainability, to fully explore and embrace the vast array of opportunities in the field. As Kavanagh put it, “sustainability is kind of a beautiful orchestra piece, and we all need to find our own instrument in it.”
Read more about the Dinner and Discussion: Careers in Sustainability panel.