ESI was founded in 2014 and charged by MIT President L. Rafael Reif with leading the Institute’s “drive to increase fundamental knowledge and accelerate progress towards solutions around environment, climate, and human society.” ESI’s inaugural director, Susan Solomon, launched the seed grant program, laid the groundwork for the undergraduate Environment and Sustainability Minor, and led the search that culminated in the appointment of current ESI Director John E. Fernandez.

Reporting directly to Vice President for Research Maria T. Zuber, ESI plays an active role in the implementation of MIT’s Plan for Climate Action and collaborates closely with partners in departments, labs, and centers across MIT, as well as with undergraduate and graduate student groups.

Read more about ESI’s foundation here.