Mathy Vathanaraj Stanislaus, Esq
Vice Provost, Executive Director
The Environmental Collaboratory
Mathy (Vathanaraj) Stanislaus, Esq, is Vice Provost and the inaugural Executive Director of a groundbreaking institute, The Environmental Collaboratory.
About The Collaboratory
Established by Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences (ANS) of Drexel University, The Environmental Collaboratory (TEC) seeks to foster climate and environmentally just solutions that are actionable in the near term, with an initial focus on climate mitigation and adaptation, the scaleup of clean energy and electric mobility, and reducing local air pollution. The Environmental Collaboratory seeks to transform the historic, asymmetric power dynamics of environmental challenges through co-designed solutions and authentic partnerships with community leaders, nonprofits, corporations and government agencies — locally, nationally and globally. To realize this vision, TEC seeks to enable Drexel and ANS’ expertise in areas such as science, engineering, law, health, business/economics, public health, policy and humanities by facilitating resourcing, research, education, civic engagement and public programming.
To realize this vision, The Environmental Collaboratory seeks to support research, education, civic engagement and public programming in collaboration with faculty, students and professional staff in academic and administrative units across the university. The Environmental Collaboratory also seeks to drive solutions to address today's challenges in the private and public sectors through new models and innovative approaches to often-disparate fields such as financing, entrepreneurship, engineering, business, law, policy, public health, medicine, data and information technology, history, infrastructure design and management, and civil and human rights, along with environmental fields.
With a diverse experience working for and with senior leaders from government, community organizations and the corporate sector in the U.S. and globally — from the board to the community room — Stanislaus brings his passion for authentically facilitating trust building among diverse stakeholders to credibly design and implement pragmatic solutions that align environmental, economic considerations and social justice. Stanislaus joined Drexel from the Global Battery Alliance, a multi-stakeholder initiative established at the World Economic Forum. There, he served as its first interim director and policy director with a focus on establishing a global transparent data authentication system to scale up electric mobility and clean energy in alignment with circular economy, human rights and community development.
At Drexel, he continues this engagement by connecting The Environmental Collaboratory to global partnerships including the World Bank Energy Storage Partnership, the Global Battery Alliance, the World Economic Forum and the Responsible Battery Coalition. He also continues to serve as an advisor to Carbon180 to align carbon removal strategies with community-driven environmental justice approaches.
Mathy was the founding co-director of the New Partners for Community Revitalization in New York — an organization dedicated to strengthening low-income communities and communities of color by linking technical assistance, land use planning and finance through the redevelopment of brownfield properties. He led a coalition — comprising environmental justice and community development organizations, local governments, real estate and property development organizations and financial organizations — to successfully negotiate with the New York State legislature to pass the nation’s first law creating a community-based planning program for the restoration of brownfield sites with infrastructure investments and tax credits. This program was targeted at economically distressed communities.
Stanislaus served for eight years as the Senate-confirmed assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Land & Emergency Management for the Obama Administration. At USEPA, he led programs that revitalize communities through the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites, hazardous and solid waste materials management, chemical plant safety, oil spill prevention and emergency response. He saw firsthand the devastation of natural and man-made environmental disasters, serving as USEPA’s lead emergency response official to respond to some of this country’s largest environmental disasters, including Superstorm Sandy’s devastation of the East Coast and the Deepwater Horizon (BP) spill devastation of the Gulf Coast
Stanislaus represented the United States in G7 deliberations that led to the countries’ leaders establishing the first-ever global alliance to advance materials resource efficiency as a key driver to decarbonize and conserve natural resource in global supply chains, in partnership with countries, businesses, World Resources Institute, World Economic Forum, United Nations Environment Programme, Global Environmental Facility and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
As Co-chair of President Obama's Chemical Plant Safety Interagency Task, with Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor, Stanislaus led the stakeholder consultation throughout the country regarding chemical process safety and environmental justice. This work culminated in the Report to President Obama on Chemical Plant Safety and the implementation of regulations and chemical plant safety rules with a focus on addressing the impacts to vulnerable communities and protecting first responders.
Among his other achievements at the USEPA was advancing President Obama’s Climate Action Plan by leading the U.S. government’s first adaptation plans to protect Superfund sites and hazardous waste facilities from the consequences of more intense, frequent storms and sea-level rise. Stanislaus led his office’s development of the RE-Powering America’s Land initiative to foster renewable energy development on contaminated lands — providing legal clarity for clean energy financing and identifying optimum sites for clean energy in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the initiative was recognized as one of 2013’s Top 25 Innovations in American Government by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center. Stanislaus was also recognized by the IBM Center for Business in Government for designing and leading President Obama’s Memorandum on Open Government through its community engagement plan, which was described as one of the leading actions to foster inclusion of the “full range of demographic, income, and geographic groups” impacted by EPA programs and policies.
Stanislaus earned a JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law with a specialty in environmental law, and a BS in chemical engineering, specializing in materials science, from the City College of New York. He has received awards for his environmental advocacy and been published in outlets such as Bloomberg Law, The Hill and the World Resources Institute on topics including racism and environmental justice, the circular economy, the alignment between the scaling of electric vehicles and renewable energy with human rights and sustainability for local communities, and inclusive ways to address urban inequality to create lasting change.
A former long-term member of the Board of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Stanislaus has been a visiting scholar at The New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center and a visiting assistant professor in Graduate Architecture & Urban Design program at Pratt Institute.