Jenna Cramer & Dr. Aurora Sharrard Are Taking on New Positions in Sustainability

Sustainability leader Jenna Cramer has been promoted to Executive Director of Green Building Alliance, while the University of Pittsburgh tapped GBA’s Dr. Aurora Sharrard as the first-ever Director of Sustainability.

Aurora Sharrard and Jenna Cramer

PITTSBURGH, June 7, 2018 – Two of the region’s top sustainability leaders are taking on new positions in Pittsburgh. An established leader in the green building and sustainability community, Jenna Cramer will succeed Dr. Sharrard on July 1 in a planned leadership transition that takes place in GBA’s 25th year. Ms. Cramer has been serving as GBA’s Vice President of Transformation and Community. Also in July, Dr. Aurora Sharrard will become the University of Pittsburgh’s first Director of Sustainability, following her success as Executive Director of Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance.

Alongside Dr. Sharrard, Ms. Cramer has served on GBA’s management team since 2009. Together they collaborated on a number of GBA initiatives, including: building a broad network of partners to drive sustainable practices at all scales of the built environment, creating strategic partnerships with the U.S. Green Building Council and International Living Future Institute, facilitating the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, and providing technical assistance to green building and sustainable community projects including Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Hazelwood Green, local ecodistricts, and many others.

Pittsburgh Retains Two Top Sustainability Leaders

GBA’s Board President, Mark Smith (Director of Sales and Marketing for DMI Companies), stated, “We’re elated to be able to simultaneously celebrate Aurora’s 11 years of contributions to GBA and her new role as an important GBA member, as well as activating GBA’s succession plan by seamlessly promoting Jenna Cramer, who has earned this unique opportunity to take GBA into a new chapter of growth and impact. We are delighted that both Jenna and Aurora remain key players in our region’s sustainability community.”

During the past decade, Ms. Cramer led GBA’s efforts with transformational programs including the Green & Healthy Schools Academy, School Sustainability Culture Program, Inspire Speakers Series, and Pittsburgh Living Future Collaborative. She co-led GBA’s 2018-2020 Strategic Planning process, resulting in the organization’s most ambitious and visionary plan to date, covering all GBA initiatives including education, technical assistance, advocacy, the Green & Healthy Schools Academy, sustainable communities, and Pittsburgh 2030 District. She holds double bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Studies and Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

During her 11-year tenure at GBA, Dr. Sharrard is credited with GBA’s overall growth, co-founding the Pittsburgh 2030 District, convening the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, creating Pittsburgh Green Story to promote the region’s sustainability achievements and advantages, and many other accomplishments. She holds master’s and PhD degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Green Design from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tulane University.

Leading Pitt’s Office of Sustainability

At Pitt, Dr. Sharrard will lead the new Office of Sustainability to coordinate efforts across the campus and in local partnerships. Decades of green initiatives were formalized in 2018 with the University’s first Sustainability Plan. Developed with the guidance of a broad-based committee of faculty, staff, students and administrators in accord with the University’s strategic priorities, the Pitt Sustainability Plan outlines a host of measurable goals including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and landfill waste and increasing the percentage of renewable energy used on campus.

Dr. Sharrard will oversee progress toward the plan’s goals, reporting to Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Operations, Gregory A. Scott. “As a university community, we have embraced sustainable practices in our campus operations, classrooms, research activities, and local partnerships,” Scott said. “Aurora’s leadership, collaborative approach, and innovative thinking will focus our expanded efforts to meet these ambitious and impactful new sustainability goals.”

Progress at Green Building Alliance

Since its founding 25 years ago, Green Building Alliance has grown and evolved from Pittsburgh across Western Pennsylvania and national sustainability networks of influence. Over the past decade, GBA has grown at many levels, including scale and scope of programs, collaborative partnerships, staff size, membership, funding, engagement, results, and impact of programs and technical support provided to members, organizations, and community partners.

GBA’s focus has also evolved beyond individual buildings to broader scales of the built environment, including neighborhoods, communities, cities, and districts. GBA works across all sectors to ensure that the places where children learn, families live, people work, and communities gather are socially, environmentally, and economically vibrant so that all people can thrive. For more information, visit

About Green Building Alliance

Green Building Alliance (GBA) is a nonprofit organization that advances innovation in the built environment by empowering people to create environmentally, economically, and socially vibrant places. Founded in 1993, GBA is one of the oldest regional green building organizations in the United States, proudly serving Pittsburgh and the 26 counties of Western Pennsylvania, with stakeholders across the Mid-Atlantic, United States, and world.


Natalie Stewart
Communications Director
(412) 773-6014

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