Collaborative Staff

Ariel Kagan, Senior Program Associate

Ariel Kagan


Ariel is the Senior Program Associate for the Sustainability Collaborative. She managed the Urban Agriculture symposium in the fall of 2016 and the Local Foods Impact conference, in partnership with USDA Agricultural Marketing Service in spring 2016. She contributes to the sustainability minor and works closely with students pursuing sustainability internships and research. She has a background in agriculture and food systems, with international experience in sustainable farms and fisheries. Before coming to GW, Ariel was the DC FoodWorks Coordinator at Middlebury College, a summer program for undergraduates to explore food systems through internships and coursework. In her free time, Ariel enjoys hiking, cooking, and reading books about sustainable seafood. Ariel holds a B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in Food and Resource Economics from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.


Robert Orttung, Research Director

Robert Orttung


Dr. Robert Orttung is Research Director at the Sustainability Collaborative and Associate Research Professor of International Affairs at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Orttung is the lead principal investigator on two National Science Foundation grants focused on promoting urban sustainability in the Arctic. He is the editor of Sustaining Russia’s Arctic Cities (NY: Berghahn, 2016). Among his previous publications are several books and articles examining the interconnection between energy and international relations, including serving as editor with Andreas Wenger and Jeronim Perovic of Energy and the Transformation of International Relations: Toward a New Producer–Consumer Framework (Oxford University Press, 2009) and Russian Energy Power and Foreign Relations: Implications for conflict and cooperation, (Routledge, 2009). He is the president of the Westover Village Civic Association and a member of the board of Field to Table, which runs two farmers markets in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. Orttung received a B.A. in Russian Studies from Stanford University and both a M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Jenna Riemenschneider, Senior Research Associate

Jenna Riemenschneider


Jenna Riemenschneider is the Senior Research Associate for the Sustainability Collaborative. She focuses on federal engagement and GW’s 2015-2017 GreenGov partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Having already contributed to successful GreenGov symposiums and dialogues, she now devotes her time to research and case study production aimed at providing critical insights on emerging federal sustainability efforts. Prior to joining GW, Jenna co-founded a Nantes, France based start-up to produce in-home aquaponics kits which use fish waste to grow fresh herbs and vegetables in a closed-loop ecosystem. She also spent two years in New York City working as a paralegal at Arnold & Porter, LLP. Jenna received a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania and an MSc in Sustainable Development from HEC Paris.


Kayla Williams, Executive Coordinator

Kayla Williams


Kayla Williams is the Executive Coordinator at the Sustainability Collaborative. She graduated in 2017 from George Washington University with a major in sociology and a minor in creative writing. She hopes to increase access to fresh, affordable, and fair food for all Americans while propelling a culture of symbiotic relationships with farmers, consumers, and the land. At GW, Kayla was an active member of the Food Justice Alliance and GroW Garden. She also managed the GroW Community Garden and worked as a photographer for the Multicultural Student Services Center.