2021 Kozmetsky Fellow Announced

RGK Center Logo

Allison Hooks is our newest recipient of the Ronya and George Kozmetsky Fellowship in Philanthropy and Community Service. An Austin native, Allison will be joining the MPAff/MBA dual degree program in fall 2021. She graduated from Colombia University with a BA in Environmental Science, formerly worked at CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), and served a year as a Climate Corps AmeriCorps Fellow before returning to Austin and the Forty Acres for her graduate studies. Learn more about Allison below. 

What were you doing before graduate school? 

I was working at CDP, a global nonprofit that runs an environmental disclosure system for corporations and subnational governments. At CDP, I worked with local governments to showcase planned sustainable infrastructure projects to the capital markets. In this role, I brought together local governments, investors and nonprofits to shift capital into equitable climate projects. My experience at CDP sparked my interest in multistakeholder collaborations and made me think about the roles of nonprofits and philanthropy in addressing climate change. 
Before CDP, I was a Climate Corps AmeriCorps Fellow with the City of Oakland, where I worked on several projects including developing a map linking projects in the City’s Climate Action Plan to potential sources of funding. Through this experience I started thinking about how local governments can fund and finance the necessary climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience work. 
While I was a student [at Colombia], I worked as a research assistant at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Although I loved studying environmental science and doing research, I wanted to use the science to inform policy and decision-making. 

What are you most excited about as you begin your time at LBJ? 

I am excited to immerse myself into the world of public policy and build a stronger foundation in policy and management. I am looking forward to learning from LBJ faculty and students, who have a breadth of experiences, knowledge and passions that brought them to LBJ.   

One of the things that drew me to the LBJ School is its emphasis on learning through practical application. I am excited to participate in the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Public Service’s CONNECT program. I think that it will be a great way to serve the community while learning and building practical measurement and evaluation skills that I can take forward in my career. 

What area of nonprofit work are you interested in learning more about or pursuing after graduation? 

I plan to continue to work in the areas of sustainability and climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Climate change exacerbates existing vulnerabilities and injustices and has negative impacts to our health, infrastructure, economy and planet. Meeting this challenge is critical and presents an opportunity for us to create a just and equitable world. To support this transformation, we need to utilize the knowledge, wisdom, experiences and skills of all people and sectors.

After graduation, I plan to continue to work in and with nonprofits. Nonprofits are positioned to play a necessary and unique role in addressing the climate crisis as innovators, leaders and facilitators for collaboration among communities, governments, corporations, philanthropy, academia and other stakeholders. 

Aug. 4, 2021