COP 27

The University of Michigan’s Delegation to the COP 27 Climate Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt is composed of 14 graduate students across 7 different schools in the university.

Here is this year’s delegation:

Week 1

Anna Kelly

Anna is a second year master’s student in Public Policy at the Ford School. She is also pursuing a certificate in Sustainability at the School for Environment and Sustainability. After graduating, Anna hopes to work in urban sustainability, utilizing her experience in politics to help local governments take action on climate. At COP27, Anna is excited to witness the machinations of political negotiations on climate, and to connect with local government representatives from the international community to learn about climate resilience strategies.  After working on a strategic plan for the National Park Service’s electric vehicle network last summer, she is also excited to learn more about international best practices for electrification and sustainable infrastructure.

Ritvik Jain 

Ritvik is a second year Masters Student at the School for Environment & Sustainability specializing in sustainable systems & energy. He is a researcher at the ASSET Lab where he is quantifying the effects of climate change on energy burdens for single-family homes across the US. Ritvik grew up on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, where he worked on multiple sustainable energy projects with people that lacked reliable electricity access in communities vulnerable to climate change. Techno-Policy discussions and negotiations revolving around the energy-economy-climate nexus is something that Ritvik is eager to dive into at COP27.

Claire Doyle

Claire Doyle is a second year master’s student at the School for Environment and Sustainability, studying Environmental Justice and Sustainability & Development. She is also pursuing a certificate in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. Prior to school, Claire oversaw climate resilience projects with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and contributed to research and dialogue-building with the Environmental Peacebuilding Association. She currently works at the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, where she supports policy research and programming. Her capstone project, for which UNFCCC is the client, looks at how to support more inclusive climate information systems in Samoa and Vanuatu. At COP27, Claire looks forward to getting a window into how governments, businesses, and civil society can shape high-level, international discussions to tackle the climate crisis.

Kat Cameron

Kat Cameron is a third-year dual master’s candidate at the University of Michigan in Urban and Regional Planning at Taubman College and Environmental Policy and Planning in the School for the Environment and Sustainability. Kat graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with degrees in Biological Aspects of Conservation, Environmental Studies, and Dance. After working in the film industry in New York City, she now focuses on assisting Great Lakes communities in creating their own stories of resilience in the face of climate change, which was the focus of one of her Master’s Projects. At COP27, Kat is looking forward to engaging with the resiliency-focused events while also learning from the delegates at the World Leaders Summit.

Emily Adrid

Emily Adrid is a second year master’s student at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, where she is studying sustainable development and environmental justice. As part of her research for the UNFCCC, she is working to reduce knowledge gaps that limit the dissemination and useability of climate information systems in Samoa and Vanuatu, including a lack of or limited data, lack of actionable knowledge, and a lack of tools and methods to process knowledge into actionable forms. This research focuses on the specific challenges faced by women and disabled persons in accessing, understanding, and acting upon climate information. She also works on the Global Science Team at World Wildlife Fund where she is developing resources for conservation practitioners that leverage global social science data to promote inclusive conservation. At COP27, Emily is looking forward to engaging in discussions about how to ensure climate justice for vulnerable women and girls around the world.

Jared Mandelbaum

Jared Mandelbaum is a second year dual master’s candidate at the University of Michigan in the School for Environment and Sustainability, where he focuses on environmental justice and policy, and at the Ford School for Public Policy, where he focuses on international policy. Jared graduated from Hamilton College in 2018, where he studied Environmental Studies and Geosciences, and prior to his studies at the University of Michigan, he worked in outdoor education and education technology. Jared’s research focuses on assessing outcomes of international climate adaptation projects funded through the Adaptation Fund, and his capstone project addresses tropical dry forest restoration prioritization and local agroforestry farming efforts in Manabí Province, Ecuador. Jared hopes to work in international climate adaptation policy long-term, specifically focusing on the development and implementation of equity-centric policies that empower and provide resources to vulnerable communities in developing countries. At COP27, Jared looks forward to learning more about the effects of power dynamics on international climate negotiations and strategies to distribute more funds and resources to support climate adaptation efforts in poorer countries.

Jaron Rothkop

Jaron Rothkop is a 2nd-year SEAS student with a concentration in Behavior, Education, and Communication. Jaron is a co-founder of 501CTHREE, an impact non-profit focused on universal access to water and food, where he runs The Water Box program, and the President of The Last Kilometer, a non-profit that works on innovative climate adaptation technologies. Jaron’s prior work includes co-founding a solar microgrid company and working in automotive R&D. At COP27, Jaron is interested in how those most at risk from climate change will gain access to technology and financing.

Week 2

Supreya Kesavan

Supreya Kesavan is a second year master’s student in the School for Environment and Sustainability and the Ross School of Business  with a focus in environmental justice. Her background is in environmental engineering, but then she pivoted to technology consulting for five years where she worked on a wide variety of projects including building carbon accounting systems to support Net Zero initiatives for corporations. Most recently, Supreya interned as part of the Environment and Supply Chain Innovation focusing on electronic waste. Her work and research is focused at the intersection of business, justice and sustainability with a particular interest in layering geopolitical considerations to sustainability solutioning in the business world. At COP27, Supreya is excited to explore how business can play a role in international climate regulations, negotiations and understand alternative models of business that center in equity.

Annie Zaro

Annie Zaro is a third year dual degree, MBA and MS in Environment & Sustainability, student, with a focus on environmental policy and planning. Prior to school, she spent 3.5 years in management consulting at Huron Consulting Group and 3.5 years in strategic sourcing at Stitch Fix. Since starting at the UM School for Environment & Sustainability, Annie has focused on building her knowledge and professional experiences to build a more responsible, circular, and sustainable retail industry. At COP27, Annie is excited to learn more about how governments and businesses are collaborating to both adapt to climate change and reduce the risk of exceeding the +1.5 degree Celsius target.

Yifan Guan


Yifan Guan is a fifth year PhD student in the department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, with a background in both atmospheric sciences and finance. Her research projects focus on investigating the global carbon cycle – especially greenhouse gas (e.g. CO2) by leveraging climate models, satellite observations and aircrafts. Over the years, she actively engaged in student organizations and environmental protection negotiations to help the UM community and local governments with climate-related affairs and sustainable development. During COP27, Yifan is looking forward to helping with increasing public understanding of scientific breakthroughs, and learning about how governments, NGOs and business entities can collaborate in confronting climate change.

Yingxiao Zhang

Yingxiao Zhang is a fourth year PhD student in the department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. Her research focuses on investigating the climate change impacts on biosphere (e.g., pollen emission) and preparing people for the potential adverse impacts. During her PhD, Yingxiao has been actively working on outreach opportunities including working with local government to identify areas to construct green infrastructure and getting interviewed with journals and media to publish a series of news to discuss climate change consequences. Yingxiao hopes to continue extending the application of her PhD work and improving the societal impact of science. At COP27, Yingxiao is interested in engaging in the international policy discussion and learning as a scientist, how to effectively communicate with policy makers and incorporate her climate knowledge into the real-world problem solving.

Javi Piñeiro

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Javi holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras and is pursuing a dual Juris Doctor – Master’s of Public Policy at U-M. Javi’s background includes government, non-profit and private sector experiences across the United States, Puerto Rico and Latin America, with focus on sustainable economic development and climate policy. Prior to U-M, Javi was a Forbes 30 Under 30 nominee in the category of Social Entrepreneurship, for their work with community enterprises and environmental protection in Puerto Rico. Javi is now developing a career at the intersections of Law, Policy and Economics, with a particular interest in international governance and environmental law. At COP 27, Javi is interested in learning how Latin American countries and Small Island Developing States navigate the negotiations process and achieve important commitments from the “global north”.

Anil Bansal

Anil Bansal is a 1st year PhD student in the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences department within the College of Engineering. His current research revolves around utilizing plasmas for a variety of applications, namely space propulsion and environmental mitigation. Upon graduating, he hopes to utilize his experience to develop plasma-based carbon capture technologies as a remedy for the deteriorating conditions of the atmosphere. At COP 27, he is excited to engage in discussions surrounding the relevancy and efficacy of current/emerging carbon capture technologies, as well as learning about other technologies aimed at reducing our carbon footprint.

Erin Posas

Erin Posas is a second year Master’s candidate at University of Michigan’s School of Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) studying Environmental Justice. As a student and aspiring Environmental Justice professional and academic, Erin is committed to promoting local and international policies and holistic climate adaptation plans that center equity and the much-needed redress of the cumulative harms created by racial capitalism and colonialism, especially in the face of climate change and ongoing struggles to heal lands and water, eliminate disproportionate impacts of pollution and climate change, and protect food, energy, and land sovereignty. At SEAS, her research has focused on equitable residential building electrification in Michigan, stormwater policy and governance, and the detrimental environmental, ecological, social, and economic impacts of the Line 5 dual oil pipeline and proposed tunnel project in the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. Prior to matriculating to SEAS, Erin graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Mandarin and spent five years as a federal consultant supporting federal agencies. As a student observer at COP27, Erin hopes to connect with and learn from fellow climate justice activists around the world who are advocating for the right to a greener, more just and equitable future.

Want to know what’s happening at COP27?

Follow the Climate Blue Twitter to see tweets from the delegates: @ClimateBlue

Also check out the COP27 Blog section on this site to see blog posts from the delegates.