Center for Sustainable Community Solutions

Center for Sustainable Community Solutions and Environmental Finance Center Announces New Director

The College of Engineering and Computer Science is pleased to announce the transition of Melissa Young into a new role as Director of the Center for Sustainable Community Solutions – Environmental Finance Center (CSCS-EFC) at Syracuse University. CSCS-EFC is housed within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. With her extensive leadership experience and dedication to sustainability, Young is poised to build upon the Center’s long and successful history and to continue developing impactful programming for the communities it serves.

Young has been an integral part of the CSCS-EFC team since 2008, previously serving as Director of Resource Conservation Initiatives. Throughout her career, she has played a pivotal role in public engagement, outreach, education, and technical assistance initiatives. Her programmatic effort was previously focused on sustainable materials management, encompassing crucial aspects such as waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. In her new position, Young will expand her scope to include initiatives related to water and wastewater infrastructure, particularly for rural and underserved populations, which she had worked on when she was first hired at Syracuse University.

The shift in leadership comes as CSCS-EFC celebrates its 30th year anniversary in 2023. Since 1993, CSCS-EFC has used a unique community-based approach to assist hundreds of municipalities across EPA Region 2, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eight Native Nations. CSCS-EFC provides essential training and brings together a variety of governmental and nonprofit actors to collaborate on sustainability issues, including water infrastructure management, water equity, climate resiliency, resource conservation, and sustainable materials management. Since 2015, CSCS-EFC has been awarded $15.75 million in federal, state, and local grants to support communities by providing tools, technical assistance, outreach and education, research, and more.

“This is an exciting time for Syracuse University’s CSCS-EFC as it continues to lead the way in developing solutions for communities across EPA Region 2,” says J. Cole Smith, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Melissa’s background and track record of proven results and positive impact will be essential to taking CSCS-EFC to even greater heights.”

“I am honored and deeply committed to lead our organization’s efforts to catalyze positive change and foster environmental stewardship, while engaging deeply with communities across our region and beyond,” says Young. “Together with our dedicated team and partners, we will continue to innovate and expand our impact, working to create a more sustainable and resilient future for all.”