Adela Gondek

Lecturer in the Discipline of Climate, Columbia Climate School

Affiliated with: M.S. in Sustainability Management

School of Professional Studies

Affiliated with: M.P.A. in Environmental Science and Policy

School of International and Public Affairs

Affiliated with: Undergraduate Special Concentration and Major in Sustainable Development


Adela Gondek, a Lecturer in Climate, Earth and Society, in the Climate School at Columbia, teaches public and environmental ethics in several programs: the Executive MPA and the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy programs of the School of International and Public Affairs; the MS in Sustainability Management program at the School of Professional Studies; and the Sustainable Development undergraduate program of the Climate School/Earth Institute. A political scientist with specialization in political theory and American politics and policy, she acquired her PhD in the Department of Government at Harvard, with cross-disciplinary study in the law and divinity schools and the Kennedy School of Government. She has served as a legislative analyst in the Massachusetts State Senate, with investigative specialization in consumer product safety, prison reform and model judicial practice. At Columbia, she taught American political theory and the Core Curriculum in the Department of Political Science, then began teaching applied ethics at SIPA, SPS, and the CS/EI. She has designed courses on ethics of public leadership and management, sector-based environmental justice, sustainability finance ethics, and sustainable development ethics. Professor Gondek’s research interests include practical and theoretical ethics, including global DEI, corruption and investment, organizational leadership and management, the Arthurian narrative and code of civility, and transformative learning.

Writing English variations, she co-authored the book, Poems of Enlightenment, with Jingtian Guo, poet; Rongxiang Jia, poet; Tigang Guo, calligrapher; and Yujie Kang, artist (Beijing: World Knowledge Press, 2015). Recent publications and presentations include: (2017) The Intersection of Business and Ethics— Transformative Learning as a Facilitator of Ethical Behavior in the Financial Sector, and (2018) Building Ethical Communities—From Individual Transformation to Transformative Community (both co-authored with managers at S&P Global, NYC, and Ernst & Young, Berlin, Germany), Proceedings of the Transformation Learning Conference; (2020) Speaking of Ethics in Foreign Policy: The Case of Antarctica (SAIS Review, Volume 39, Issue 1, Winter-Spring 2019-2020); (2020) Ethics at the Intersection of Economic Development, High Finance, and Mortal Pandemic (Picker Center Lecture Series, School of International and Public Affairs); (2022) Meditations on Peace (Peace Concert Ceremony, International House and You Tube); and (2022) Thoughts on the State of American Society (Study Group of the German Managed Care Association). In 2022, she was appointed to the inaugural DEIA Committee of the Climate School.