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Photo of Klein-Banai, Cynthia

Cynthia Klein-Banai, PhD '10

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences



Dr. Cynthia Klein-Banai is a dynamic change agent and collaborative leader. She founded the UIC Office of Sustainability 15 years ago as Associate Chancellor and then Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Sustainability. Her team provided institutional value in supporting sustainability planning, projects, and reporting, while enhancing UIC’s mission of student success, improving public health, and serving the communities of Chicago. She oversaw the drafting and publication of two climate action plans, and a sustainability strategic thinking process that resulted in the implementation of strategies to achieve the UIC Climate Commitments of Carbon Neutral, Zero Waste, Net Zero Water, and Biodiverse University. She has helped advanced sustainable infrastructure at UIC through energy efficiency, renewable energy, grounds, water and stormwater management, waste and recycling, and transportation initiatives. She developed the UIC Sustainability Internship Program that has provided over 230 students hands-on learning in solving sustainability problems. Dr. Klein-Banai has a Ph.D. in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She holds an adjunct assistant professor appointment within the School of Public Health. She is a Certified Educational Facilities Professional. She received her MS in Environmental Science from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. She served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

As a recent retiree, she volunteers with the Oak Park Climate Action Network that provides technical expertise and advocacy for Climate Ready Oak Park, the One Earth Film Festival, and her congregation’s social action/environment committee.