Smith College Names New Sustainability Director
Deirdre Manning comes to Smith from Boston College, where she successfully instituted a number of student-led initiatives promoting recycling and energy conservation.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – As part of its commitment to the environment, Smith College recently named Boston College’s Deirdre Manning to serve as its next environmental sustainability director.
Manning will begin at Smith on August 26, leaving her post as director of sustainability and energy management in Boston. She replaces Dano Weisbord, the first person to serve Smith in this capacity.
With her 16-year background in energy efficiency policy development, management and end-user advocacy in both higher education and government, Manning brings a wealth of experience to the new post. At Smith, she will be responsible for coordinating the college’s integration of sustainable principles and practices into campus operations and oversee the implementation of the President’s Climate Commitment Plan.
“Balancing the social goods provided by the institution, including sustainability, can be challenging in these difficult economic times,” said Manning. “Fortunately there are many initiatives that are economic and environmental winners where investment can be easily justified.”
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, Manning earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management.
She began her career as a consumer specialist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities resolving disputes between consumer and utility managers, and monitoring utility company compliance with departmental regulations.
In her most recent work at Boston College, she was responsible for overseeing energy and water conservation programs for a university that educates more than 12,000 students and employs nearly 2,500 people.
Among her initiatives was the development of the Eco Reps program that has a student in each residence hall educating peers and identifying opportunities to promote recycling and energy conservation. She also created a volunteer student labor force that installed compact florescent light bulbs in residence halls and administrative offices, distributed bags before football games to promote recycling and planted an organic vegetable garden.
At Smith, Manning said she also looks forward to the opportunity to influence student behavior. “It’s gratifying to give students the tools to influence life beyond Smith.”
Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. One of the largest women’s colleges in the United States, Smith enrolls 2,800 students from nearly every state and 62 other countries. The creation of the environmental sustainability director is one of many ways the college has recognized that sustainability issues affect us on all levels: local, national and global.