Northeastern University

February, 2023

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world that ranks among the top 40 undergraduate institutions in North America. 

Students walking on Northeastern University's campus
 Image credit: Northeastern University.

The university provides a variety of educational pathways for undergraduate and graduate students interested in sustainability and resilience, spanning multiple disciplines and program types. For example, graduate students may take a course in “Critical Infrastructure Resilience” or pursue a Master of Public Policy focused on sustainability and climate change, an MS in Security and Resilience, or earn certificates in Environmental or Sustainability Engineering. 

Northeastern faculty and graduate students regularly help city governments, NGOs, and residents around the world improve their practices in the field through joint research and collaboration, including the City to City Impact engine run by professors Alicia Modestino and Carie Maultsby-Lute in Boston and Oakland and partnerships with Chief Resilience Officers (CROs). Northeastern has also conducted multi-year, multi-institution, multi-million dollar research projects on resilience funded by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, NASA, and the US Department of Energy. 

Beyond a focus on improving sustainability and resilience through external partnerships, Northeastern University’s Planning, Real Estate, and Facilities oversees the physical footprint of over 8 million square feet on 12 campuses in six states as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. The Department ensures that the planning, design, and construction projects, and the daily operations of its thirteen campuses incorporate green building, carbon reduction, climate justice, energy conservation, climate resiliency, and waste reduction measures while they are meeting the current and future needs of Northeastern University. Among other strategies for shrinking Northeastern’s carbon footprint are reflective roofs, groundwater recharge, landscaping, and water reduction measures.

From building back better and designing financial incentives to developing nature-inspired systems and equitable social capital, resilience strategies need to be multifaceted and interdisciplinary. Northeastern University has responded to these demands by investing in global resilience over the last several years. Based on the foundations laid by the founding director Prof. Stephen Flynn, the Global Resilience Institute (GRI) continues to lead new and important convergence research across colleges and disciplines. The Institute actively works to collaborate with other institutes across Northeastern University, including the Network Science Institute and the Institute for Experiential Artificial Intelligence. Founded by Professor Steve Flynn, and currently co-directed by Professors Auroop Ganguly and Daniel Aldrich, GRI continues to advance its global and national reputation and thought leadership through the development of multi-faculty research products as well as growing investments in novel interdisciplinary capabilities for responding to strategic opportunities.