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Adela J. Gondek, Ph.D.

Lecturer, Sustainability Management; Lecturer in the Discipline of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology

Adela J. Gondek is a Lecturer at Columbia University, where she teaches public and environmental ethics in the School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Professional Studies, and the 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 teaches courses on corrupt practices, environmental justice, and sustainability ethics in development and finance. Dr. Gondek has been an Associate of the Centre for Business and Public Sector Ethics in Cambridge, England, and prior to her academic career, she served as a legislative analyst in the Massachusetts Senate, with expertise in consumer product safety, prison reform, and model judiciary practice. Her research interests include practical and theoretical ethics, cross-sector corruption, organizational leadership and management, the role of narrative in geopolitics, and transformative learning.


  • Ph.D. Harvard University
  • B.A., Goucher College



  • “Ethics at the Intersection of Economic Development, High Finance, and Mortal Pandemic” (SIPA EMPA Summer Series, 2020).
  • “Speaking of Ethics in Foreign Policy: The Case of Antarctica.” (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2019).
  • “Building Ethical Communities: From Individual Transformation to Transformative Community" (with Katharina Weghmann, at Ernst & Young, and Rachel Fichter, at S&P Global; Proceedings of the 13th International Transformative Learning Conference, Transformation in Action –The Power of Community, 2018).
  • “The Intersection of Business and Ethics: Transformative Learning as a Facilitator of Ethical Behavior in the Financial Sector” (with Katharina Weghmann and Rachel Fichter; Proceedings of the 12th International Transformative Learning Conference, Engaging at the Intersections, 2017).
  • Poems of Enlightenment (with Jingtian Guo, poet, Rongxiang Jia, poet, Tigang Guo, calligrapher, and Yujie Kang, artist, Beijing, China: World Knowledge Press, 2015).