NOVA Welcomes Its First Sustainability Officer

Since 2007, NOVA’s Environmental Concerns Committee, the “Green Committee,” has guided the College in implementing projects and ideas that are environmentally sustainable. In 2011, the Committee recognized that in order to fully pursue a sustainable path, be a leader among peer institutions and keep up with nearby institutions, NOVA needed to a hire a sustainability officer. The Committee developed a job description, made a recommendation to President Robert G. Templin, Jr., and received the president’s approval to begin the hiring process. Over the past summer, the Committee interviewed and evaluated a number of well-qualified candidates. The Committee’s efforts resulted in the hiring of Rob Johnson, NOVA’s first sustainability officer.

Johnson joined NOVA last month and will continue the Committees’ efforts to help the College reduce its carbon footprint. With counsel and advice from the Environmental Concerns Committee, he will encourage and implement specific “green” projects across each of the campuses and ensure the College and community are aware of NOVA’s progress.

Sustainability is an increasingly important movement in the nation in general and in America’s colleges and universities specifically. Johnson will work to quantify NOVA’s greenhouse gas emissions, develop a strategic plan and vision for sustainability, facilitate or lead a variety of projects to reduce NOVA’s carbon footprint, and be the interface with the community and other external stakeholders to coordinate partnerships, encourage sustainability projects and publicize NOVA’s progress. The presence of a sustainability position enhances the College’s regional and national standing as a leader in the growing movement toward a more sustainable future and greener economy.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from George Mason University. He was most recently a Department of Defense contractor in the D.C. area focused on air and missile defense analysis for the U.S. Navy. Prior to that, he served five years in the Navy. Additionally, as a student intern, he assisted Mason’s Office of Sustainability in completing its first Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Action Plan. He has a breadth of experience in project management, data analysis, modeling and simulation, environmental education, and sustainability initiatives.

For questions, contact Johnson at 703-425-5753 or

Welcome Rob!

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