Staff Directory

Our Staff

  • Petros C. Mavroidis is the Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia Law School. He teaches the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO). He also co-teaches a course on corruption and sports, and a seminar on a trade issue. He is also Professor of Law at the University of Neuchâtel. His latest major publication is the book The Regulation of International Trade, MIT Press, 2016, which won the 2017 Certificate of Merit in a Specialized Area of International Law from the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). The honor is awarded annually to a recent work that represents “a distinguished contribution to the field.” He has served as chief reporter for the ALI Study ‘Principles of International trade: the WTO’ (2013).

  • Perrine Toledano is the Director of Research and Policy overseeing the development of a coordinated, integrated, and impactful program of research across CCSI's thematic areas of interest. She also directs the Center’s work on Mining, Energy, and Climate Finance. She leads research, training, and advisory projects on economy-wide decarbonization pathways and the role of key actors in the energy transition: financing institutions, energy companies, and the mining sector. She also leads work on the governance of extractive industries including on fiscal regimes, financial modeling, shared use of mining, climate resilience and mitigation at mine sites, local content, revenue management, and optimal legal provisions for development benefits. She has led projects in DRC, Liberia, Paraguay, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Timor-Leste, and assisted many more government teams remotely. She is the co-editor of two volumes published by Columbia University Press: Rethinking Investment Incentives: Trends and Policy Options and The New Frontiers of Sovereign Investment. She serves on the academic board of the Cambridge 1.5°C-aligned corporate bond index, on the technical working group of the Critical Raw Materials Climate Bonds Criteria, and on the IRMA Initiative for Responsible Mining expert working group on GHG Emissions and Climate Change. She also serves on the advisory board of the International Senior Lawyers Project's tax program, and she is part of the Panel of Experts advising on the Regional Economic Development strategy of Rio Tinto in Simandou (Guinea). Prior to joining CCSI, she worked as a consultant for several non-profit organizations, including the World Bank, DFID, and Revenue Watch Institute (now NRGI), and private sector companies, including Natixis Corporate Investment Bank and Ernst and Young. Her experience includes auditing, financial analysis, IT for capital markets, public policy evaluation, and cross-border project management. She has a Masters of Business Administration from ESSEC in Paris, France, and a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University.

  • Paulo Cunha is CCSI's Director of Operations. In this capacity, he directs the Center's financial, administrative and business operations, while contributing to strategic planning, human resources, communications and project management. He joined the Center from the Earth Institute, where he managed a number of projects across several centers and initiatives, including an advisory project in São Tomé and Príncipe that focused on extractive industries transparency, oil revenue management and development planning, and urban development projects that focused on bamboo bicycles and solar lanterns. He has over 17 years of experience as a project manager, researcher and operations specialist in the fields of sustainable development and investment, natural resource governance and extractive industries transparency. He has also worked with the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Swiss Network for International Studies and the United Nations Development Program. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a Master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

  • Nora Mardirossian is a senior legal researcher at CCSI, leading projects on environmental sustainability and human rights in international business and finance. Prior to joining CCSI, they conducted research on responsible business conduct and advised multinational companies on their approaches to meeting international human rights expectations through work at Shift and Triponel Consulting. Nora also researched the role of institutional investors in driving ESG reporting at the Columbia Water Center and promoted accountability for environmental and human rights impacts in development finance at Accountability Counsel. They conducted legal research for UN Special Procedures mandates related to sustainable development and for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ business and human rights team. They hold a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Juris Doctor with a concentration in international law from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. They are admitted to the bar in California. 

  • Nancy Siporin is the Executive Coordinator of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. Prior to joining CCSI, she worked in television production, in areas ranging from broadcast operations to publicity, before becoming a casting director and owner of an independent casting company. Previously, she spent numerous years in the advertising industry, where she served as the Manager of Network Television Programming at a large ad agency. Her diverse background also includes working as a Senior Recruiting Manager in the medical market research industry. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Arts and Sciences, with honors, from Queens College, New York.

  • Martin Dietrich Brauch is a Lead Researcher at CCSI. He leads economic and legal research, training, and advisory work, with a focus on legal and policy frameworks and practices for sustainable investment to achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation goals—including through decarbonization and a just transition to net-zero emission energy systems and economies—along with other SDGs. His work centers on the following focus areas at CCSI: Climate ChangeEnergy TransitionExtractive Industries, and Investment Law & Policy.

    He has worked extensively with developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, speaking English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Prior to joining CCSI, he worked as international law advisor at a global think tank, in-house counsel at a media conglomerate, and associate attorney at a boutique law firm. As a graduate student, he undertook a legal internship at United Nations Climate Change. He received a B.A. in Economics, a Bachelor of Laws, and a specialization certificate in Environmental Law from the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. He holds an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from NYU School of Law, where he was an IILJ International Law Fellow.

  • Madeleine Songy works with CCSI Director Lisa Sachs, supporting the Center’s research and programmatic work in investment policy. She received a Master of International Affairs and BAs in international studies and Spanish language from Texas A&M University. As a student at Texas A&M, she worked for her graduate school’s economics research institute where she contributed to research concerning global value chains and regional trade agreements. She also served as a non-voting member on the board of directors for the Bryan-College Station chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the vice president of community service for Texas A&M’s chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority. She is originally from Dallas, Texas.

  • Lisa Sweat joined CCSI in 2018 to help the Center refine its strategic direction and lead its fundraising efforts as Associate Director of Development and Strategy. Prior to that, she was at the International Senior Lawyers Project, where she established and managed their Myanmar Program from 2013 to 2015 before helping the organization undertake a strategic transition and eventually serving as Director of Strategy. Her previous experience also includes legal internships with the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Burma Lawyers’ Council in Mae Sot, Thailand, as well as research assistance for The Center on Law and Security, for a law firm representing victims’ rights at the International Criminal Court, and for NGOs working in the areas of international economic development, security, and human rights. She holds a JD from New York University School of Law and a BA from Emory University, and is admitted to the bar in New York.

  • Lisa Sachs is the Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. Since joining CCSI in 2008, she established and oversees CCSI’s robust and interdisciplinary research portfolio and advisory work on the alignment of investment law, investment practice, and investment policy with the sustainable development goals. She is a globally recognized expert in the ways that laws, policies and business practices shape global investment flows and affect sustainable development. She works with governments around the world, regional and international development organizations, financial institutions, companies, civil society organizations and academic centers to understand the inter-relations of investment flows and sustainable development, and to influence investment policies and practices to promote the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. She has served on World Economic Forum Global Future Councils and on several advisory boards, including of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and the SDG Academy. Before joining CCSI, she worked at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and at Amnesty USA, in both cases on shareholder engagement. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University, a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar and recipient of the Parker School Certificate in International and Comparative Law.

  • Laura Garcia Cancino is a Senior Legal Researcher at CCSI, with a focus on leveraging law and metrics to address climate change challenges and accelerate the energy transition. Her expertise also encompasses the role of extractive industries in sustainable investment. Prior to joining CCSI, her work at the International Energy Agency (IEA) centered on energy efficiency and demand-side measures’ pivotal role in reducing fossil fuel dependence and driving the energy transition. With a comprehensive legal background in Latin America, she has additionally served as in-house counsel for a multinational oil and gas explorer, managing E&P and dispute resolution matters. Her legal insight extends from her former position as an Associate of an international law firm's Energy, Mining, and Infrastructure team, offering strategic guidance to multinational companies engaged in developing large-scale projects in the mining, oil and gas, power, and renewable sectors. She holds a J.D. from Universidad del Rosario in Colombia, an Advanced Degree in Mining & Energy Law and Sustainable Development from Universidad de los Andes, where she graduated first of her class, a Master of Science in International Energy from the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po, where she served as a Board Member of the Sciences Po Energy Association, and an LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated with honors. She is also a co-founder of coMpower, a nonprofit association that promotes the participation and empowerment of young women in the energy sector in Colombia.

  • Lara Wallis is a Senior Legal Researcher at CCSI, focusing on sustainable investment in land, agriculture, food systems, and other sectors, primarily as part of the Advancing Land-based Investment Governance (ALIGN) project. She is a South African-qualified attorney. Prior to joining CCSI, she worked across a range of human rights, corporate accountability, environmental justice, and natural resource governance issues in South Africa and internationally at organizations including EarthRights International, the Centre for Environmental Rights and the Legal Resources Centre. She is a former law clerk of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and a recipient of the Constitutional Court Trust Ismail Mahomed Fellowship. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Human Rights Law from the University of Cape Town, as well as an LL.M from Columbia Law School, where she graduated as a James Kent Scholar. At Columbia, she was the recipient of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Fellowship, the Lawrence A. Wien Corporate Social Responsibility Fellowship, and, upon completion of her LL.M, the Columbia Law School Global Public Service Fellowship.

  • Lara Fornabaio is a Senior Legal Researcher at CCSI, focusing on sustainable investment in land, agriculture, and food systems. Prior to joining CCSI, she worked at the environmental law charity ClientEarth, where she led the work on agriculture and food systems and managed a team responsible for the delivery of a broad portfolio of projects on clean air, water, and soil. She has extensive experience in designing advocacy strategies at the European Union level and in bringing legal challenges aimed at better implementation and enforcement of environmental laws.

    She holds an LLM from the University of Torino (Italy) and a PhD in EU Food Law from the University of Ferrara (Italy). She carried out research as a visiting scholar at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), the University of Nantes (France), and the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (Switzerland). She has researched in a variety of legal and multidisciplinary domains, from EU food and environmental law to governance studies and indigenous law and methodology.

  • Ladan Mehranvar is a senior legal researcher for the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment, with a focus on investment law and policy, and human rights and sustainable investment. In addition, she is a lecturer at Princeton University, where she teaches Environmental Law and Policy. Her previous experience includes work for a national law firm in Toronto, Canada, with a focus on environmental and expropriation law, an NGO in Guatemala supporting indigenous communities on issues surrounding human rights and extractive industries, and as a legal researcher at Amnesty International (Vancouver) and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (Costa Rica). She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Ecology from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School, and an LLM from the University of Toronto. Her research at Osgoode and Toronto largely focused on the impact of foreign investment on subaltern communities in Latin America.

  • Jack Arnold supports the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment’s research and programmatic work on investments in mining and energy. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Pomona College, where he concentrated in Environmental Studies and Public Policy. As an undergraduate, he played on Pomona-Pitzer’s varsity soccer team, conducted research on carbon pricing policies, and served as a German Language Partner at Pomona’s Foreign Language Resource Center.

  • Hansika Agrawal is a legal researcher at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, with a focus on Land, Agriculture & Food Systems. At CCSI, she advances research, training, and technical and advisory support around strengthening the governance of land-based investments, in collaboration with civil society organizations, governments, and other actors. She was previously a Fellow with the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law, where she advanced research and training on community rights, climate justice, and corporate accountability. Her prior work experience includes advancing legal empowerment, human rights investigations, strategic litigation, and advocacy approaches. She has worked with various organizations on advancing Indigenous land rights in Guyana, and the rights of migrant domestic workers, rights of older people, and rights to housing in Hong Kong. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Hong Kong, as well as a Master of Laws in International Legal Studies from New York University School of Law, where she was a Dean's Graduate Scholar, an International Law and Human Rights Fellow, and a Research Assistant at the Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.


  • Grace Brennan supports the Center’s research and programmatic work on land, agriculture & food systems. She received a BA in anthropology on the political ecology track from Barnard College. As an undergraduate, she worked for Campus Sustainability and Climate Action. She wrote her senior thesis on the socio-ecological risk of nuclear power, comparing perspectives from power plant communities and nuclear engineers. She also served as a research assistant on an archeological project supporting land and water rights for a tribal nation in New Mexico.

  • Esther Akwii is a Legal Researcher at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, with a focus on Land, Agriculture & Food Systems. Prior to joining CCSI, she was a senior clinical fellow at the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic. She also has worked at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School, and at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Her prior experience includes work on land tenure, right to food, farm viability, food loss and waste, food security, climate change, and natural resource governance. She holds a Master of Laws in Food and Agriculture Law, with distinction from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from Makerere University. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Diploma in Law (First Class) from the Law Development Centre.

  • Denise Hearn is a writer, applied researcher, and advisor focused on how economic power and paradigms shape our world. She advises governments, financial institutions, companies, and nonprofits on antitrust, economic policy, and new economic thinking. She co-authored The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition – named one of the Financial Times’ Best Books of 2018. Her writing has been translated into 9 languages and featured in publications such as: The Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Responsible Investor, and The Washington Post. She currently authors the Embodied Economics newsletter. She is Advisory Board Chair of The Predistribution Initiative and was previously a Senior Fellow at the American Economic Liberties Project. She has an MBA from the Oxford Saïd Business School and a BA in International Studies from Baylor University.

  • Chris Albin-Lackey is CCSI’s Director of Programs. He helps guide and support the organization’s research, outreach, and advocacy work with a view to maximizing its impact. He has a background in international human rights law and brings extensive experience as a researcher, editor, manager, and attorney. Prior to joining CCSI, he worked for 15 years at Human Rights Watch in a variety of roles across the organization’s Africa, Business and Human Rights, and Legal and Policy teams. He also worked as Legal and Policy Director at the National Center for Access to Justice at Fordham Law School, and in private practice advising Fortune 100 companies on complex human rights governance challenges. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Boston University, and a Juris Doctor from Columbia University. 

  • Ana Maria Camelo Vega is an experienced Economist and Internationalist born and raised in Colombia. With a MSc in Public Policy from New York University and a robust background in economics, she brings a distinct perspective to the intricate realm of finance. Throughout her career, she has focused on fostering evidence-based sustainable development initiatives from a multidisciplinary approach. At CCSI, she leads applied research on sustainable finance, with a strong emphasis on international and alternative investment initiatives to finance a just energy transition.