Kara Kokernak is a Senior Director on the ULI Lewis Center for Sustainability in Real Estate team and leads Decarbonization and Net Zero thought leadership, specifically focusing on ULI’s Net Zero Mission Priority “journey to zero” and convenings/campaigns around the real estate value chain for tenants, utilities, and embodied carbon. Prior to ULI, Kara spent 15 years in sustainability consulting, initially at global consulting firm, DNV GL, she managed utility energy efficiency contracts and new construction, existing building, and campus green building projects. More recently, at RE Tech Advisors, Kara managed commercial real estate ESG program strategy and implementation. Kara is also an adjunct professor at American University, her undergrad alma mater, in the Environmental Studies program where she teaches courses in energy, sustainability and her favorite course, a capstone research project for seniors preparing to enter the workforce. The dichotomy between Kara’s experience in both lab science and applied science offers the ability to understand the background of current sustainability issues while also providing skills to manage and administer solutions and implementation of ideas. Her professional goal is to help the built environment adapt to impending climate change and pave the way toward achieving and surpassing net zero goals. Kara lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, three kids, and senior rescue dog.