Gina has over 20 years of experience working in education, sustainability, and social innovation. In 2008, Gina founded EcoRise as a nonprofit that aims to unlock the power and potential of youth to design resilient communities of the future. Gina has stewarded its dramatic growth, introducing the principles of sustainability, social entrepreneurship, biomimicry, design thinking, and green building to over 1,100 schools in 47 states and 39 other countries.
Prior to EcoRise, Gina spent 10 years working with innovative educational programs serving youth in Brazil, India, Nepal, and Guatemala, as well as in Harlem, New York, and Taos, New Mexico. In 2004, Gina moved to Austin, Texas, and pioneered a robust summer and afterschool program at a Title I middle school. She also built and led a youth cultural exchange program to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and served as a facilitator and counselor at the Global Youth Peace Summit. While in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, Gina studied sustainable development and social entrepreneurship and earned a certificate in Nonprofit Studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Gina practices systems-thinking and human-centered design, and recently completed the School for Systems Change program at the Forum for the Future. Gina serves on the SXSWedu Advisory Board and the Green Schools Conference & Expo Program Working Group and is a former co-chair of Austin ISD’s Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee. Gina has presented extensively at local, regional, and national conferences and recently received the Women in Sustainability Leadership Award by Green Building & Design.