Chief Sustainability Officer

Advance your role as a leader in sustainability innovation. 

Learn to create deliverable solutions and lead your organization to a sustainable future. 

The chief sustainability officer now sits as a key decision-maker in the c-suite. Mason’s CSO program brings industry experts into the classroom to work with you as you create strategic plans for organizational success in the growing world of sustainability. 

Who Should Attend?

The ideal candidate has: 

  • Experience as an organizational leader with a track record of leading business sustainability principles in the workplace culture. 
  • A collaborative approach to leadership. 
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills with the maturity to work with stakeholders at all levels and disciplines.  
  • Proven team-building skills that can transcend traditional power dynamics.  
  • Project management and change management capabilities such as recommending process improvements, system overhauls, and solutions toward greater efficiency and effectiveness.  
  • Sufficient quantitative skills and financial fluency to deploy a sustainability-focused budget and measure impacts. 
  • The ability to listen. 
  • Solid communications skills. 
  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent experience. 

Program Topics

  • Sustainability Analytics and Processes 30% 
  • Transforming the Organization 15% 
  • Culture and Leadership 20% 
  • Strategy and Strategic Thinking 15% 
  • Business Acumen 20% 

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to: 

  • Assume a CSO leadership role at the executive level or serve as part of the CSO leadership team 
  • Clearly articulate the organization’s sustainability vision, commitments, and expectations both internally and to key stakeholders 
  • Engage partners and stakeholders in productive collaborations that advance sustainability solutions while creating value for the organization 
  • Contribute to enhancing the value of the organization’s products and services 
  • Build strategies and structures to grow an organization’s sustainability impact while anticipating and managing emerging challenges. 

Program Information

Custom Program Opportunity
Delivery: In-Person or Virtual 

Meet Your Instructors

  • George Mason University Costello College of Business Faculty Ioannis Bellos

    Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program Director
    Additional Roles: Associate Professor, Information Systems and Operations Management; Dean's Scholar

    Ioannis Bellos is the MBA program director and an associate professor within the Information Systems and Operations Management Area in the Costello College of Business at George Mason University.
  • peadar-duffy

    Global ESG Lead, Archer IRM

    Peadar Duffy is the Global ESG Lead at Archer IRM has been at the leading edge of risk professionalism assisting companies to manage strategic risks for some 30 years.
  • Founder, President, and Managing Consultant for Excellence in Risk Management, LLC

    Christopher E. Mandel is Founder, President, and Managing Consultant for Excellence in Risk Management, LLC an independent risk consultancy founded in Texas in 2004.
  • George Mason University Costello College of Business Faculty Toyah Miller

    Professor, Management
    Additional Roles: 
    Director of Research for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    Dr. Toyah Miller is a professor within the Management Area in the Costello College of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University Costello College of Business Faculty Saruabh Mishra

    Professor, Marketing

    Saurabh Mishra is a professor within the Marketing Area in the Costello College of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University Faculty Greg Unruh

    Arison Chair in Values Leadership/Associate Professor, School of Integrative Studies

    Dr. Gregory C. Unruh is the Arison Professor of Values Leadership at George Mason University and an expert on sustainable business strategy.

Related Programs

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are faculty from George Mason University?

A combination of Mason faculty, adjuncts, and subject matter experts teach in the program.  

How was the curriculum created and courses chosen?

Mason Business faculty with the support of an advisory council of c-suite professionals developed the program curricula. Topics and outcomes are reviewed and revised yearly based on feedback and emerging industry best practices.

Is this program eligible under the GI Bill?

Not at this time.  

Are there any discounts to attend the program?

Preferred pricing for government employees is $7,650. A promotional code will be provided to those accepted into the program. Please call (703) 993-8275 if you are a Mason employee or would like to discuss a group rate.    

What does the cost of the program include?

The $8,500 program cost includes all materials, activities, catering, receptions, and a certificate of completion.  

How do I register and pay for the program?

Follow this registration link to register for the program. You will receive an emailed response with directions on payment.

How much time will participants need to devote to the program?

Participants should expect to spend seven full days at the George Mason University Mason Square Campus as well as participating in 5-6 online topics delivered in two-week increments. For each two-week topic there will be approximately 8-10 hours of learning including readings, videos, presentations, live session, discuss boards, and deliverables.

How are the courses conducted?

Over the course of five months, there are seven in-person days and five two-week online topics.

In-person days include morning and afternoon learning sessions, catering, and a reception.

Online topics include a combination of asynchronous components such as discussion boards, presentations, videos, and assignments, as well as live synchronous sessions. Expect one to three scheduled live sessions for each online topic. These generally start between 7 and 8 p.m. eastern time. Live sessions are recorded and posted the next day. 

Zoom is used for live online sessions. A tutorial is provided to participants in .pdf format, and an optional live tutorial session is offered as well. All registered participants are given access to Blackboard approximately two weeks prior to the start of the program. 

Do I get university credit for this program? Will I be graded?

This is a non-credit executive education program so you will not earn university credit. However, CEUs (continuing education units) authorized by George Mason University are available upon request. At least two weeks prior to the start of the program, please send your request to You will be asked to provide additional personal information in order to have your CEUs properly recorded.    

Participants will not be graded, but In order to receive a certificate of completion, participants will need to complete a minimum of 80 percent of the work assigned (including assignments, deliverables, discussion boards, and live sessions). At the end of each topic, faculty are asked to provide a summary of participant’s engagement.  

How many participants are enrolled?

The maximum number of participants for a single cohort is 20.  

What are some common student personas/backgrounds/job titles?

Most participants have at least six years of management experience and are at the Director level or above. Approximately half of the participants have been from the public/non-profit sector and half from the private sector. The average age of participants is 45.  

Is there an application deadline?

No. Participants are admitted on a rolling basis up to the start of the program or until the cohort is full.  

Is the program eligible for 1098-T reporting?

No. This program is a non-credit course, therefore not eligible for 1098-T reporting.