Alumni Lunch & Learn: Joel Howrani Heeres, "Detroit: The Greenest City?"
Joel Howrani Heeres is Detroit’s first Sustainability Director who will lead a new Sustainability Office charged with strengthening the economic, social and environmental well-being of Detroit’s residents, neighborhoods, and businesses. Joel brings a wealth of experience on urban sustainability to this position, having served in multiple roles in the municipal, non-profit, and corporate sectors. Most recently he has been leading efforts to improve operational outcomes through data sharing and to provide greater public access to City information as the Director of Open Data and Analysis in the City’s Department of Innovation and Technology.
Prior to this role, Joel led metrics development and continuous improvement efforts at DTE and contributed to the production of DTE’s first Corporate Sustainability Report. He led Sustainability and Climate Action Planning processes in 11 communities in Southeast Michigan while at EcoWorks and played a key role in the development of the Detroit Environmental Agenda released in 2013. Joel also provided technical assistance to more than 40 local governments on a variety of sustainability-oriented issues (including building energy audits and retrofits) while he was the Managing Director for the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.
Joel has lived in Detroit for more than 14 years and holds a Masters in Urban Planning, Science (Environmental Policy and Planning), and Arts (Education) from the University of Michigan, where he also received his Bachelor degree in Economics and Anthropology. When he is not working on sustainability or data issues at the City, he can be found spending time with his kids Theo and Ruby, his partner Ana, going to Eastern Market, gardening, cycling, cross country skiing, working on the house, and volunteering with local neighborhood organizations.
Lunch is provided for those who RSVP.