Jay Golden

Adjunct Professor of the Practice
Associate Professor of the Practice of Sustainable Systems Analysis
Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
Director of the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce

Jay Golden is the faculty chair of the Business and Environment Program.  He is an Associate Professor of the Practice for Sustainable Systems Analysis in the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment and holds a secondary appointment in the Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Pratt School of Engineering. His research covers sustainable systems and production consumption systems of earth resources using risk analysis and life cycle modeling. Golden is well published in the area of both Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Sciences where he currently focuses on the nexus of the unique role of global supply chains.

Global corporations actively seek partnerships with Dr. Golden in regards to firm and product sustainability.  Golden founded and directed the Sustainability Consortium, which includes many of the worlds largest retailers and manufacturers in addition to supporting the development of life cycle tools for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition which comprises two thirds of the world’s footwear and apparel brands. Jay Golden is the director of the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce. In this role, he directs research and engagement activities across the Duke campus on pressing global sustainability issues in partnership with global corporations.  Golden served as Duke University’s Associate Vice Provost for Research and as Executive in Charge of Duke Corporate Relations.

Dr. Golden received his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Cambridge, and his master's degree in environmental engineering and sustainable development from a joint program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge. He also holds a Professional Mastery of Project Management Certificate from Stanford University, an MLE from Harvard and has a bachelor's degree in management. 

Golden founded and served as CEO of a multi-state engineering consulting firm in the Western United States that supported the hard rock, coal and energy sectors with engineering, compliance and construction services.  In 1988 they were awarded the National Reclamation Award Winners by the US Dept. of Interior.   He also served as Vice President of a fortune 500 company directing operations and sales for the Western United States with a $250M/year budget.  In 2009, Golden was presented the Faculty Pioneer Award by the Aspen Institute for his leadership in the field of sustainability education & research and named by Ethisphere as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics. 

He was appointed to the UN Life Cycle Management Task Force and was named an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow. Golden has testified before Congress, served on the Advisory Council to the Pew Center on Corporate Energy Efficiency, World Economic Forum, American Council on Renewable Energy Higher Education Committee, the Board on the Urban Environment and currently serves on the editorial board of Logistics and has served similar roles for multiple journals. Prior to arriving at Duke, Golden was an assistant professor and honors faculty member at Arizona State University in the School of Sustainability and the Supply Chain Department. He directed an EPA designated National Center of Excellence lab on SMART innovations.


  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) (2006)
  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge (UK) (2006)
  • M.Phil., University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) (2003)
  • M.Phil., University of Cambridge (UK) (2003)
  • A.B., Arizona State University (1991)
  • A.B., Arizona State University (1991)

Mailing Address

Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability
Box 90467
Durham, NC 27708

Street / Delivery Address

Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability
140 Science Drive
Gross Hall, Suite 101
Durham, NC 27708