University policy provides for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment when a proposal to divest from the Penn endowment has been received by the Steering Committee of University Council, and found to be sufficiently substantive for further review.

An Ad Hoc Advisory Committee will be convened to consider whether a divestment proposal submitted by Fossil Free Penn in October 2015, meets the high standards of the Guidelines and Procedures for Consideration by the Trustees of Proposals for Divestment from the University Endowment or Other Holdings Based Upon Social Responsibility Concerns of the Penn Community.  

The Committee’s report will be made in writing to the Trustees, who have sole responsibility for making investment decisions for the University. 

Committee Membership as determined by Penn Trustee Chair David L. Cohen

The members of the committee are as follows:

Chair and Alumni representative
David Roberts, W’84, Chair, GSE Overseer Board; Senior Managing Director, Angelo, Gordon

Alison Buttenheim, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Assistant Professor of Health Policy, Nursing
Irina Marinov, Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Science, SAS
Mark Alan Hughes, Professor of Practice at PennDesign; Faculty Director of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy
Jennifer Lukes, Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, SEAS

Karen Chen, W’17
Dillon Weber, ENG’16
Stephen Goldstein, BMG, PhD’18
Mary Whitehouse, LPS’16

Helen Pudlin, Esq. CW’70, GED’71, L’74, Member, Penn Law Overseer Board; former Executive Vice President and General Counsel, PNC Financial Services Group

Sharon Brokenbough, Director, Finance & Administration, Division of Public Safety
Tom Hecker, Associate Dean and Chief of Staff, PSOM
Marilyn Jost, Executive Director Administration and Finance, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Jeff Rowland, Associate Director of Staff and Labor Relations, Division of Human Resources

At Large
Sharon Aylor, CW’75, Executive Director, Staff and Labor Relations, Division of Human Resources
Sara Senior, CW’52, former President of General Alumni Society; former Chair, Penn Museum Overseer Board

Committee Operations

Recommendations may range from concluding that the proposal does not meet the standards for divestment, to proposing alternate means for addressing the concerns raised in the proposal, to submitting a non-binding recommendation in support of divestment to a Trustee Subcommittee on Divestment.

In its review, the Committee must consider whether the proposal meets four standards for social responsibility as established within the Guidelines:

1. There exists a moral evil implicating a core University value that is creating a substantial social injury.

2. There must be a specific company or companies identified for divestment, rather than a broad proposal directed at an industry or activity more generally.

3. The company or companies identified for divestment must have a significant, clear, and undeniable nexus to the moral evil.

4. The proposal for divestment must have the support of a broad and sustained consensus of the University community reflected over a sustained period of time.

While acknowledging the need for sufficient time for thoughtful examination and due deliberation, the Committee will be encouraged to submit its report and recommendations to the Trustee Subcommittee on Divestment within a reasonable time frame.

The Office of the University Secretary will provide administrative support to this committee. If you have any questions, please email