Ana is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management program where she serves as the Chair of the program. She also serves as the Associate Director for the Tishman Environment & Design Center (TEDC) at The New School.
Ana's research and professional practice focuses on environmental justice policies and community based strategies for tackling systemic and structural transformations necessary to achieve environmental justice. Her current research focuses on the use of land use and zoning tools to support environmental justice goals and address cumulative environmental impacts in disproportionately impacted communities. Ana helped to develop and implement a model Environmental Justice and Cumulative Impacts Ordinance in Newark, New Jersey. She also focuses on issues related to climate justice policies at the national and state level. Her recent publication examines the environmental justice implications of the promotion of waste incineration and other biomass technologies in national climate mitigation strategies. Ana's research extends to issues related to environmental and health impacts of the global goods movement in seaport cities; zero waste and anti-incineration policies that can help cities transform their relationship to waste; climate justice policies and community based resilience efforts that draw on the expertise of impacted communities; urban air pollution mitigation policies and citizen science air monitoring protocols; community engaged scholarship and participatory action research methods. Her doctoral dissertation focused on state based public policies that institutionalized an environmental justice discourse via procedural justice mechanisms absent more transformative distributive and structural policies.
Prior to joining The New School, Ana served as the Director of Environmental Justice and Community Development programs for the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. At ICC she oversaw a wide range of environmental justice, community development, planning and research projects aimed at implementing distributive and transformative bottom up strategies for environmental justice. This work included the creation of Newark's Riverfront Park, a five year community revitalization project in East Ferry Street Neighborhood, Superfund and Brownfields clean ups, community based science and monitoring initiatives, establishment of urban farming programs, environmental justice leadership training, community based climate resiliency and adaptation planning, litigation against the state's largest garbage incinerator, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for ports related air pollution, and a natural gas power plant, and community based organizing for environmental justice.
Ana completed her Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She has previously served as the Director of Environment & Energy Programs at Regional Plan Association in New York City, a Senior Environmental Planner for the State of Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management and as a legislative liaison to Senator John Chafee. She received her Master’s degree from Brown University in Environmental Studies and has an undergraduate degree in Environmental & Evolutionary Biology as well as Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.
Ana currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Passaic River Superfund Community Advisory Group, a steering committee member of the Coalition for Healthy Ports and the national Moving Forward Network. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ironbound Community Corporation, the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and GAIA.