Most people view sustainability through a climate-based lens. For Alyssa Alicino, though, the field of view is much wider. “It’s an all-encompassing issue,” says the Baruch double alumna and former CUNY Macaulay Honors College student. “Sustainability impacts anticorruption measures, human rights support, sustainable finance—you name it.”
Ms. Alicino deals with these issues every day in her role as manager of strategic development for the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. The organization works with approximately 10,000 private companies—Unilever, L’Oréal, and Microsoft among them—to provide data and strategies to help them implement sustainable business practices. “It’s a great mix of both working within the public sector and impacting private companies,” she explains.
Prior to her position at the UN, Alicino held roles in both the public and private sectors, working for the New York City Department of Small Business Services and within the Estée Lauder Companies. A Queens native, Alicino enrolled at Baruch thinking she would major in business.
“That changed after my first accounting class,” she laughs. She soon found her passion in Baruch’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, exploring social issues across the globe through study abroad opportunities and internships in Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and Guatemala.
The Marxe grad even had the chance to live in Washington, DC, for a semester as an intern in the White House during the Obama administration, where she joined a highly select group of students from across the country. “That was my first experience being surrounded by people who had graduated from Ivy League schools and who came from other prestigious backgrounds,” she recalls. “That internship gave me the confidence to believe that I was ready and well equipped for all types of opportunities.”
And when she’s not changing the world as part of her day job at the UN, she’s exploring it. Alicino has traveled extensively over the past few years with her husband, Latin pop musician Reneco, to promote his music, with destinations that have included Colombia and Ecuador.
—Gregory M. Leporati