In this series, Karen Guzman checks in with recent Yale SOM alumni to learn how their Yale SOM education has shaped their career paths since graduation.
Sue AnderBois ’13
Climate and Energy Manager, The Nature Conservancy
Providence City Councilor, representing Ward 3 in Providence, Rhode Island
How have you pursued your aspirations to make an impact since graduation?
I am grateful to have a career focused on having impact on my community and the environment. My current day job is working on climate and clean energy policy solutions at the state and regional level, as well as helping municipalities plan for climate resilience. I’ve previously served as Rhode Island’s first director of food policy, working to support local farmers, fishers, and makers, while also working to reduce food insecurity in Rhode Island.
Earlier this year, I was sworn in to serve my first term on the Providence City Council, representing Ward 3. I ran on a platform of prioritizing deep systemic change in issues like climate change and resilience, housing inequality, economic inequality, and economic development that benefits regular people.
In my spare time, I’ve served on many local nonprofit boards and enjoy mentoring and working with women early in their careers to help create opportunities for others to get involved in policy and the environment.
What’s a lesson from Yale SOM that has helped you on your career path?
I lean on the lessons from Negotiations class regularly. I constantly ask in negotiations at work how we can “grow the pie.” I am also very transparent in communications and negotiations, realizing that what might be a “Cadillac” ask for me might be someone else’s throwaway. I use those lessons constantly.
I also use lessons from Zoe Chance’s Influence and Persuasion class regularly. Asking people for things has always been a huge challenge for me—even when I know that people actually want to help and feel more invested when you ask! The course’s lessons were invaluable, especially the summer that I ran for local elected office.
Have there been unexpected benefits from your SOM education?
There is a small but mighty Yale SOM contingent in Providence. When I moved here after graduation—we relocated for a career opportunity for my husband—I was welcomed into a small Yale community, several of whom have become some of my close friends. It was a lovely, unexpected benefit when moving to a place where I knew no one.
What are you passionate about in your work?
I am currently working on some complicated policy proposals that help expand clean energy in our densely populated state while also protecting some of our most important forest resources. I love digging into a thorny problem and bringing different voices to the table to find a good solution that we can also get through the legislature.
I am also a co-chair of our chapter’s diversity and equity team. The environmental community has not always been a good ally on issues of equity and racism, and I am really passionate about weaving equity and racial justice into our work to combat climate change. I also am in love with the city of Providence. I am so passionate about making change for my neighbors and really showing what municipal government can accomplish!