Director of Sustainability Initiative
As the director of Sustainability Initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University, Alexandra Hiniker is responsible for the university's programs on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Scholars at Risk. This includes serving on the U.S. Steering Committee of Scholars at Risk.
Previously, she oversaw New York City’s SDG program at the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, where she sparked a worldwide movement by creating the concept of the award-winning Voluntary Local Review. New York City became the first city in the world to report directly to the United Nations on its local implementation of the SDGs, and over 300 local authorities have now committed to conducting their own reviews.
Hiniker has more than 15 years of development, policy and advocacy experience working in 18 countries. She has led humanitarian disarmament initiatives in Cambodia with the United Nations, and in Laos and Lebanon with the Cluster Munition Coalition. She also established the PAX office in New York and served as the Representative to the United Nations, focusing on the protection of civilians in Syria, Iraq and South Sudan.
Hiniker began her international development career implementing pandemic preparedness projects in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Prior to that, she was a Princeton Project 55 Fellow with the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, where she conducted outreach for the nation’s first market-based residential electricity pricing and Chicago’s first car-sharing program.
Hiniker volunteers at the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark and participates in numerous local community development initiatives. For more than a decade, she supported Legacies of War, the only U.S. organization dedicated to raising awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos, advocating for the clearance of unexploded bombs and victim assistance and providing space for healing the wounds of war, most recently serving as chair of the Board of Directors.
Alexandra earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago, an M.A. from Uniwersytet Jagielloński in Kraków, Poland and an M.S. in Urban Policy and Leadership from Hunter College in New York City. She also studied at Sciences Po-Paris.