Marianella Franklin | Founding Director & Chief Sustainability Officer at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Marianella Franklin is the founding Director and Chief Sustainability Officer at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, leading the institutions global sustainability efforts with 14 years in higher education. She is responsible for and focused on improving sustainable development and organizational effectiveness in education, research, operations and global engagement. Since she established the Office for Sustainability in 2009, Marianella has accelerated institutional progress in academics, educating the next generation of professional leadership, driving interdisciplinary sustainability research, and creating outreach opportunities with businesses, non-profit organizations, policy makers and the community.

She is an active participant in the local community, working to foster collaborative efforts among academics, and public, private partnerships to further the development and execution of strategies and plans that drive sustainability improvements within the institutional strategic plan.

Marianella’s leadership has helped launch various programs and centers that include:
the UTRGV – International Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum; UTRGV- South Texas Industrial Assessment Center; Sustainability Fellows, Scholars and Internship programs and assisted in developing new interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs in Energy, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

As an industry advocate Marianella has shared her knowledge lecturing at numerous conferences and
seminar based programs. Marianella is a member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), International Women’s Board (IWB), Valley Environmental Coalition (VEC), LRGVDC Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC), Building Urban Cultures, American Institute of Architects Associate (AIA), US Green Building Council (USGBC) and a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design accredited professional (LEED, AP). Marianella holds a BA in Architecture from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), and a Certificate in Sustainability Leadership from The University of Vermont.