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Environmental Innovations Initiative Staff

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Katherine Unger Baillie


Associate Director Katie Baillie

Katherine (Katie) Unger Baillie joined the Environmental Innovations Initiative in 2023 as its associate director, responsible for elevating the visibility of transdisciplinary climate and environmental research at Penn. Prior to this role, she was the senior science news officer within Penn’s Office of University Communications, where she covered life science news and research for Penn Today. Katie earned a master’s in environmental studies from Penn, with a concentration in resource management; a master’s in science writing from Johns Hopkins University; and a bachelor’s in biology from Haverford College.   

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Ximena Trujillo

Research Coordinator


Ximena (Xime) Trujillo is the Research Coordinator for the Environmental Innovations Initiative. Her drive is to articulate local actions with global goals to advance in the path of balance between humans and nature. She is an environmental engineer with a master’s in civil engineering from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. She also holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Before joining the Initiative in 2022, she worked on water management, in Latin America and Europe, and in research communications at international organizations and higher education institutions in Europe and United States. In this position, she will focus on data management and strategic planning to foster interdisciplinary research collaborations at Penn. Also, she is a mentor at Penn Engineers without Borders (EWB), a member of Penn in Latin America & the Caribbean (PLAC), and a fellow of the ISCN.

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Kate La Spina

Program Coordinator

Kate La Spina

Kate La Spina is the Program Coordinator at the Environmental Innovations Initiative and is excited to facilitate programming at Penn to foster knowledge about climate change and environmental issues. Before joining the Initiative, Kate worked as the STEM Tutoring Coordinator at the Weingarten Center. Currently pursuing a dual concentration in environmental biology and policy within the Master of Environmental Studies program at Penn, Kate also holds a master's in Science Education from the American Museum of Natural History and a bachelor's in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine.

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