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Young alumna’s passions fuel sustainable solutions globally

Posted in NEWS on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

[Originally posted by VUSE]

Vanderbilt alumna Leslie Labruto’s early career trajectory illustrates just how many ways a young civil environmental engineer can accommodate both her heart’s leaning and her tangible talents – in as many places as possible.

Before she graduated from the School of Engineering in 2011, Leslie’s studies and service work had already taken her to Argentina, Peru and Guatemala. For her Senior Design Project, she created a solar/bike hybrid system that brought power for the first time to the rural community of Ulpan, Guatemala. Leslie also led a clean-water fundraising campaign to mark her 21st birthday by providing clean water for a community in Central Africa.

“Prior to entering Vanderbilt, I had never stepped foot in a developing country, though I had experiences abroad that sparked the ‘travel bug’ within me,” Leslie said. “Then when I began developing a tangible skill set at Vanderbilt through my studies as a civil engineer, I realized I could unite my love for engineering and my passion for exploring other cultures to solve global problems.” Leslie also picked up two minors: engineering management and energy and environmental systems.

But it was her work for the Clinton Foundation on the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) since graduation, helping to create clean energy solutions for countries across Africa and small island nations, which provided her best opportunities to make change happen. She went to work for CCI after earning her master’s at Imperial College in London, UK.

In December 2013 Leslie concluded her work with CCI to take her new job as an associate with Summit Partners in the equity investment firm’s Boston office, where she is focusing on emerging companies in the energy and technology sectors. Leslie also continues to serve as a Young Alumni Trustee on the Vanderbilt Board of Trust.

Read more about Leslie’s work here.