Kate Nelson headshot, Director of Sustainability
Kate M. Nelson
Twin Cities Director of Campus Sustainability
UMN Twin Cities Office of Sustainability

Kate comes to the University of Minnesota from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she was the first Director of Sustainability in the UW System, completing a fifteen-year tenure launching and serving in that role. She recently led UWM’s stakeholder engaged and endorsed Climate Action: Carbon & Resiliency Plan creation and implementation. While climate action planning is a highlight, Kate’s experience is vastly comprehensive and includes aligning sustainability to university goals to include energy savings, stormwater management, transportation planning, and resource management overhauls. Kate describes the real pride of her work as connecting sustainability initiatives to deep equity work and student need. Her previous research in the sustainable development of Costa Rica, Romania, and Cuba has influenced and aligned her strategies for environmental policy and strategy. Kate holds an MS in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies of UW Madison, as well as a BA in Conservation and Environmental Science from UW-Milwaukee and a previous BA in Theatre and Writing from Cardinal Stritch University. Kate joined the UMN Office of Sustainability in 2023.