Adam Freed '98
What is your current job?
I am the Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Global Securing Water Program, which is working to help cities in more than 35 countries to provide safe, sustainable, and reliable water services for people and nature. In addition, I am a Lecturer at Columbia University's Earth Institute and School of International Public Affairs, where I teach a graduate-level course of sustainability.
Why did you choose this profession?
My passion for sustainability has grown and evolved since leaving Haverford. An initial interest in cities and economic development led me to the NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, where I was exposed to and led the City's work on a wide variety of urban sustainability issues. This sparked my commitment to working towards changing the way we design, build and operate cities to make them more sustainable and to address the significant environmental challenges we face. After spending 15 years in New York City and State government, I joined The Nature Conservancy to be able to work on a global scale in multiple locations and accelerate the pace of change.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
I hope to contribute to changing the way we design, build, and operate cities to address the challenges and opportunities presented by rapid urbanization, a growing middle class, and climate change. At the forefront of this is increasing our awareness and understanding of the role that natural systems play in sustaining urban and economic growth.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
During a period when I was looking to change jobs, a friend of a friend suggested that I speak with their friend about an opening in the NYC Mayor's Office. I didn't think I was interested in the job, but thought there was no harm in having coffee with them. It turned out to be the dream job I didn't know I wanted, which I was was offered a month later.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
Haverford had a significant impact on my professional career - from igniting my passion for cities in the "Cities" program at Bryn Mawr, to helping me get my first job with NYC government straight out of college, to strengthening my strong belief in public service and striving to make the world a better place.