Dr. Aurora Sharrard is the Executive Director & Vice President
of Innovation for Green Building Alliance (GBA), a nonprofit organization that inspires the creation of healthy, high
performing places for everyone by providing leadership that connects knowledge,
transformative ideas, and collaborative action.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, GBA was founded in 1993, is one
of the U.S.’s oldest regional green building organizations, and is a U.S. Green
Building Council (USGBC) chapter.
As GBA’s Executive Director,
Dr. Aurora Sharrard leads the organization in achieving its mission while
setting future visions and strategy. A
GBA staff member since 2007, Aurora continues to drive organizational innovation
while advancing GBA’s strategic plan, programs, staff, and stakeholder
relationships. A nationally recognized green building expert, Aurora has served
GBA under several titles, always providing innovative solutions, strategic
thinking, and real world application.
In her GBA tenure, Aurora most notably
co-founded the Pittsburgh 2030 District, wherein buildings in Downtown
Pittsburgh and Oakland aspire towards measured high performance of 50%
reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by
the year 2030, cementing Pittsburgh as a national leader in healthy and high
performing places. She also provides
broad and deep technical support to innumerable local green building projects,
most notably the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Phipps Conservatory
Center for Sustainable Landscapes, and Lower Hill Redevelopment.
Dr. Sharrard also created and implemented past
GBA programs, including DASH and GBA’s Product Innovation Grant programs. DASH
is the Database for Analyzing Sustainable and High Performance Buildings—a
evidence-based web tool that works to provide building industry professionals
with building performance information that enables better decision-making about
building design, construction, operations, and maintenance across the triple
bottom line. GBA’s Product Innovation
Grants awarded $1.2 million to 24 recipients over 4 years to support the
commercialization of innovative green building products.
From 2008 through 2011, Aurora was also the
convener of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative (PCI) – a collaborative
partnership in the Pittsburgh region led by local nonprofit, government,
business, and higher education institutions to reduce greenhouse gases through
measureable actions; in this time, Aurora led completion of two Pittsburgh
Climate Action Plans and one citywide greenhouse gas inventory, while convening
the Higher Education Climate Consortium.
Aurora is still an integral PCI Partner, helping guide the third
versions of Pittsburgh’s greenhouse gas inventory and climate action plan.
Dr. Sharrard serves on the Board of the
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the Board of Directors for Pittsburgh
Green Innovators, the Advisory Team for the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit
Partnership, and the p4 Pittsburgh Measures Committee. Locally, she is also a Science and
Engineering Ambassador for The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and
Medicine and on Carnegie Mellon University’s Civil and Environmental
Engineering Department Alumni Advisory Council. Nationally, Aurora is engaged
with the National Institute of Health’s Health in Buildings Roundtable. Dr.
Sharrard also regularly peer reviews papers and projects for funders and
academic journals – and has multiple academic and nonacademic publications of
Dr. Aurora Sharrard holds a Master’s and PhD in
Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Green Design from
Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering
from Tulane University. She was a
finalist for the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh Athena Young Professional Award and previously
received the BusinessWomen First Award from the Pittsburgh Business Times, the
40 Under 40 Pennsylvania Environmental Leaders Award, and the Recent Alumnus
Award from Carnegie Mellon University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department. Dr. Sharrard is also an
alumna of Leadership Pittsburgh and a LEED AP BD+C.
Aurora lives in Pittsburgh with her husband Jesse
and sons Angstrom and Faraday. She loves
breakfast, enjoys costumes, and looks forward to someday completing renovations
on her 110-year-old house.