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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating Systemâ„¢ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.


The STARS governance structure includes the STARS Steering CommitteeTechnical AdvisorsPartner Organizations, and AASHE’s Board of Directors


The goals of the STARS governance structure are to:

  • Engage the higher education community in providing technical and strategic guidance for STARS;
  • Facilitate continuous improvement of STARS;
  • Provide strategic guidance to STARS, including sound financial oversight; and
  • Enhance the transparency of STARS.


STARS is a highly collaborative project. AASHE offers several opportunities for stakeholder engagement:

Governance Bodies
AASHE periodically solicits applications for STARS Steering Committee members, STARS Technical Advisors, and AASHE Board members. Organizations may email [email protected] to inquire about becoming a STARS Partner Organization at any time. 

Public Comment Periods
Major revisions to STARS are developed according to the STARS Technical Development Policy and are vetted through an extensive process of deliberation and public comment.

Stay tuned to the AASHE Bulletin and social media for calls for applications and public comment periods.

Continuous Feedback
In addition to the above, feedback on STARS is welcome at all times. All community feedback is documented and helps drive the improvement of the framework. Please use the floating "question mark" icon located in the upper right corner of any page of the STARS website to send suggestions and comments or else email [email protected].

Steering Committee

The STARS Steering Committee is composed of seven to nine representatives from AASHE member organizations and may also include up to three members of the AASHE Board of Directors. The STARS Program Manager and the AASHE Director of Programs serve as ex­-officio members of the committee, with the former having voting privileges. STARS Steering Committee members advise on program policy, finances, and strategic positioning, in addition to reviewing and approving updates and revisions to the technical content of STARS, including each new version.   

Current Members (term)

  • Aaron Durnbaugh (Chair, Aug.-Dec. 2018) - Director of Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago (2016-2018)
  • Rashmi Sahai (Chair, Jan.-July 2018) - Assessments Program Manager, Office of Sustainability, Stanford University (2016-2018)
  • Dennis Carlberg - Sustainability Director, Boston University (2017-2019; 2nd term)
  • Ben Champion - Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Arizona (AASHE Board appointee 2017-2018)
  • Julian Dautremont-Smith - AASHE Director of Programs (ex-officio)
  • Carol Dollard - Energy Engineer, Colorado State University (2016-2018)
  • Elaine Durr - Director of Sustainability, Elon University (2018-2020; 2nd term)
  • Moira Hafer - Sustainability Specialist, Stanford University (interim)
  • Áine Keogh - Associate Director, Operational Sustainability & Reporting, University of Calgary (2018-2020)
  • Camille Kirk - Director of Sustainability and Campus Sustainability Planner, University of California, Davis (2018-2020)
  • Cindy Klein-Banai - Associate Chancellor for Sustainability, University of Illinois at Chicago (AASHE Board appointee, 2018)
  • Anna Pautler - Sustainability Data Assessment & Reporting Officer, Sheridan College (2018-2020; 2nd term)
  • Chris Pelton - STARS Program Manager, AASHE (ex-officio)
  • Taryn Wilkinson - Sustainability Advisor at Niagara College (interim)

Meeting Minutes

Core Policies

Former Steering Committee members include Justin Brown, William Brown, Amy Dvorak, Ann Erhardt, Meghan Fay Zahniser, Jeremy Friedman, Sally Grans-Korsch, Angela Halfacre, Sarah Hammond Creighton, Elaine Hanson, Trina Innes, Preston Jacobsen, Jon Jensen, Nadine Johnson, Rose Johnson, Nurit Katz, Erika Kociolek, H. Scott Matthews, Dave Newport, Chris O'Brien, Vita Pickrum, Stephenie Presseller, Paul Rowland, Cindy Shea, Adam Steinman, Andrea Trimble, Ron van der Veen, Judy Walton, KyuJung Whang.

Technical Advisors

STARS Technical Advisors are the primary source for input and insight regarding the content of STARS credits. Technical Advisors are drawn from higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, government bodies, and businesses, with preference given for AASHE members. Individuals nominated by STARS Partner Organizations are given special consideration during the selection process.

Meet the current Technical Advisors.

Partner Organizations

STARS Partner Organizations are higher education associations and other non-profit organizations that provide value to the development and promotion of STARS. These organizations work to educate their constituents about STARS and engage them in its ongoing refinement and development. 


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Partner Organizations enjoy the following benefits:

  • At opportunity to nominate a member, constituent, or staff person to serve as a Technical Advisor to STARS
  • Recognition on the STARS website and in the STARS Technical Manual
  • Access to materials to help educate their members and constituents about STARS

Please email [email protected] to inquire about becoming a STARS Partner Organization.

For additional details about the STARS governance structure, including roles, responsibilities, selection criteria and terms of engagement, see the STARS Governance Structure document. View a list of previous committee members who contributed to the early development of STARS.