Elena Irwin

Professor and Faculty Director, Sustainability Institute, Ohio State University

Elena Irwin is the faculty director of the Sustainability Institute and a distinguished professor of food, agricultural, and environmental sciences in economics and sustainability at Ohio State University. Her research focuses on the economics of land use and development in urban, urbanizing, and agricultural regions, including integrated models of land, water, and ecosystem services.

She has been an investigator on research projects totally over $19 million, including funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other private and public agencies. She is a co-author of the 2018 NSF report “Sustainable Urban Systems: Articulating a Long-Term Convergence Research Agenda” and co-editor of the 2019 book “Science for the Sustainable City.” She currently serves on the U.S. EPA’s Board of Scientific Councilors Committee for Sustainable and Healthy Communities.

In her capacity as the Sustainability Institute faculty director she provides leadership to sustainability research and teaching across the university, including mentoring core faculty of the Institute and collaborating with other faculty leaders on research development of key focus areas: healthy land, water and air; sustainable and resilient communities; and sustainable energy.

She holds an undergraduate dual degree in history and German from Washington University and a PhD in agricultural and resource economics from University of Maryland.