Alex Hiniker

Alexandra Hiniker

Director of the Sustainability Initiative


As director of the Sustainability Initiative at Carnegie Mellon, Alexandra Hiniker spearheads the university's commitment to centering equity across education, research, and practices to make the world more sustainable for all using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals.

Additionally, she serves on the steering committee of the university’s Artists and Scholars at Risk program as well as the U.S. steering committee of Scholars at Risk.

Previously, she oversaw New York City’s Global Goals 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 Global Goals, and over 300 local authorities have now committed to conducting their own reviews.

Hiniker’s approach to sustainability is informed by her experience advocating for, creating, and implementing equitable policies and programs at local and global levels. 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.

Outside of Carnegie Mellon, 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.

Hiniker 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.