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Madhavi Venkatesan

Headshot of Madhavi Venkatesan

Associate Teaching Professor of Economics

Madhavi Venkatesan is a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University, a faculty affiliate of the Vermont Law and Graduate School, the founder and executive director of the Cape Cod-based non-profit Sustainable Practices, and the editor-in-chief of the journal Sustainability and Climate Change. A routine contributor to the discourse on sustainability, having written articles, chapters, and books, as well as being an internationally invited public speaker on the relationship between economics and sustainability, she is actively engaged in operationalizing sustainability to promote a future aligned to the well-being of all the Earth’s inhabitants.

Madhavi received her BA, MA, and PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University, was a Mellon post-doctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis and has a master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a master’s in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Prior to re-entering academics in 2014, she was in the financial services industry. From 2006 to 2011 she represented three Fortune 250 U.S. domiciled insurers in the capacity of an investor relations officer. Her position directly reported to the Chief Financial Officer, with a dotted line to the Chief Executive Officer. Madhavi was responsible for the earnings release, annual investor day, annual report, and financial communications with the investor public, primarily institutions and equity analysts. She represented Unum, ALICO (an AIG subsidiary), and the Hartford Financial Services Group during their respective crises and was actively recruited in each representation change. From 2012 to 2014, she recuperated in her home on Cape Cod following the unexpected and traumatic loss of her father.

Prior to being an investor relations officer, Madhavi was a market strategist for Edward Jones at the company’s headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Madhavi has received recognition across her career from an invitation to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, to a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship, to a citation from the governor of Massachusetts for the efforts of the nonprofit she founded. Most recently, on February 29, 2024, USA Today recognized Madhavi as the Woman of the Year for the state of Massachusetts. In May 2024, MacMillan Learning recognized her as their inaugural Intructor Innovation Award recipient for her inclusion of sustainability in the teaching of economics principles.


Featured Courses:

ECON 1711 Economics of Sustainability

ECON 3916: Economics of Race

Featured News Articles:

Cape Cod Times: State is catching up with Cape Cod plastic bottle bans, proponent says 

Christian Science Monitor:  Plastics have shaped nearly every aspect of society. Now what?

News @ NortheasternWhat is the real cost of a bottle of soda?


View CV
Venkatesan, M. (2021, forthcoming under contract). SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. New York, NY: Routledge.
Venkatesan, M. (2021, forthcoming under contract). Economics of Sustainability. New York, NY: Springer.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Sustainable Practices: A Case Study of a grassroots movement. In Aleksandra Machnik, Alexandra Zbuchea, Anna Królikowska-Tomczak, Walter Leal Filho (Eds.) Handbook Sustainable Consumption and Quality of Life: Towards integrating consumer policy strategies for improved life quality. Berlin: Springer.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). The tie that binds: How economic literacy is a foundation for sustainability. In Mark Starik & Kanashiro, P. (Eds.) Personal Sustainability Practices: Faculty Approaches to Walking the Sustainability Talk and Living the U.N. SDGs. London: Edgar Elvers.
Ilisko, D., Venkatesan, M., & Price, L. (forthcoming 2021). Sustainable Crises Management in Education During COVID-19. In Leal Filho, W., (Ed) (2021) COVID-19: Paving the Way for More Sustainable World. Springer, Cham.
Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Making Economics Relevant: Incorporating Sustainability. In Leal Filho, W., Salvia, A.L., Frankenberger, F. (Eds) (2021) Handbook on Teaching and Learning for Sustainable Development. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Sustainable Economic Development. In Wamboye, E & Fayissa, B. (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Africa’s Economic Sectors. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Social and Sustainability Marketing and the Sharing economy in the Coffee Shop Culture. In Bhattacharyya, J., Dash, M.K, Hewege, C., Balaji, M.S, & Lim, W. M. (Eds.), Social and Sustainability Marketing: A Casebook for Reaching Your Socially Responsible Consumers through Marketing Science (1st ed.). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Making Economics Relevant: Incorporating Sustainability. In Leal, W., Lange Salvia, A., & Frankenberger, F. (Eds.), Teaching and Sustainable Development: using the transformative power of teaching to raise awareness on sustainable development and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. London, England: Edgar Elvers.
Venkatesan, M. (2020). The role of culture and moral responsibility in facilitating a sustainable bioeconomy. In V. Venkat Ramanan (Ed.), Sustainable Bioeconomy – Pathways to Sustainable Development Goals. Springer Nature.
Venkatesan, M., Erickson, J., & Carmichael, C. (2020). The Rationale and Principles for Engagement in an Ecological Economy. In
Costanza, R., Erickson, J., Farley, J., Kubisewski, I. (Eds.), Sustainable Wellbeing Futures: A Research and Action Agenda for Ecological Economics, 300-314. London, England: Edgar Elvers.
Venkatesan, M. (2020). Teaching introductory economics to promote sustainability. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, 2020(161), 53-71.
Venkatesan, M. & Luongo, G. (2019). SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All. London, UK: Emerald Publishing.
Venkatesan, M. (2019). Policy-making, visioning, structures, management and strategies. Volume Editor, In Walter Leal Filho (Ed), Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education. London, England: Springer.
Venkatesan, M. (2019). Introduction: Selected Papers from the 4th, World Conference on Women’s Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 2018. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 20(3), 1-2. (Special Issue Editor).
Venkatesan, M. & Crooijmans, J. (2019). Involving students in implementing a campus culture of sustainability. In Leal Filho, W. Bardi, U. (Eds.) Sustainability in University Campuses: Learning, skills building, and best practice. Berlin: Springer.
Venkatesan, M. (2019). The evolution of social values: A historical perspective of the role of sustainability in the practice of Economics. In Walter Leal Filho and Adriana Consorte McCrea (Eds.), Sustainability and the Humanities. London, England: Springer Nature.

Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    PhD, Economics, Vanderbilt University

  • Contact

  • Address

    360 Huntington Ave.
    Boston, MA 02115

  • Office Hours

    Virtual (set up an appointment by email

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