Carnegie Mellon University

Alexandra Hiniker

Alexandra Hiniker

Director, Sustainability Initiatives


M.S., Urban Policy and Leadership, Hunter College
M.A., Central and Eastern European Studies, Uniwersytet Jagielloński
B.A., International Studies, University of Chicago
PISPS, Sciences Po-Paris


As director of the Sustainability Initiative at Carnegie Mellon, I am responsible for the university's programs on the Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the Global Goals) and threatened scholars.

Previously, I oversaw New York City’s Sustainable Development Goals program at the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, where I sparked a worldwide movement by creating the concept of the award-winning Voluntary Local Review for cities to report on their progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals. Over 300 local authorities around the world have now committed to conducting their own reviews.

My approach to sustainability is informed by more than 15 years of experience working internationally. I led humanitarian disarmament initiatives in Cambodia with the United Nations, and in Laos and Lebanon with the Cluster Munition Coalition. I also established the PAX office in New York and served as the United Nations representative, focusing on peacebuilding and the protection of civilians in Syria, Iraq and South Sudan.

I began my international development career implementing pandemic preparedness projects in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Prior to that, I was a Princeton Project 55 Fellow with the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago.

  • International humanitarian and human rights law
  • Humanitarian disarmament
  • Protection of civilians
  • Transportation policy
  • Peacebuilding
  • Local advocacy for global change: The promises and pitfalls of engaging with international frameworks
  • Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation
  • U.S. Steering Committee member, Scholars at Risk
  • Advisory Committee member, Dietrich Community Engagement Program
  • Student-Centered Community Engagement and Learning Network member, Nexus of Civic Engagement
  • Historic preservation volunteer, Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark
  • Former board chair, Legacies of War

Department Member Since 2023