About The GREEN Program

We’re on a mission to educate and empower future sustainability leaders through experiential education, responsible travel, and adventure.

The GREEN Program (TGP) is an award-winning, experiential education program focused on our world’s most pressing issues in sustainable development.

 Our innovative model for experiential education is driven by a desire to provide purposeful, real-world experience through impactful education, responsible travel, and adventure. We envision a sustainable future driven by global citizens who catalyze change and propel communities and organizations towards progressive sustainability goals and climate resilience.

Since 2009, we have traveled with more than 4,000 interdisciplinary student leaders and professionals from 470+ universities and 70 countries around the world. Our programs provide hands-on, global experiences at the fraction of the time and cost of traditional study abroad models.

At The GREEN Program, we believe in using business as a force for good, and to help create a sustainable future for our community and planet. We’re proud to be a triple-bottom line, woman and minority-owned, public benefit corporation.

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Where you’ve seen our work

A new model of education for a new generation. Building the future sustainability leaders that our world needs.

By using the world as our classroom, and aligning with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our program model expertly balances sustainability-focused course work, exclusive industry exposure, and bucket-list adventures in just 10 days.

We specialize in providing exclusive access to leading industry facilities, and learning opportunities with local sustainability experts. We challenge our cohorts to solve real-world sustainability challenges in the form of innovative business solutions.

Beyond our program experience, we are one of the first program providers to offer leadership development and resume-boosting opportunities after students return home. In fact, 95% of TGP alumni stay engaged in sustainability efforts and have gone on to work for forward-thinking companies such as NASA, Tesla, National Geographic, United Nations, the Environmental Defense Fund, NREL, and more.

Programs designed with learning outcomes for the 21st century workforce:

Nearly 91% of employers prefer that their candidates have experience, and 65% prefer relevant experience.  Our programs are designed for participants to gain new knowledge, skills, and competencies to prepare them for an impactful career – for themselves and our planet. 

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Short-term, intensive, experience-based curriculum

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Learn through a human-centric approach

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Collaborate with diverse, interdisciplinary, and intercultural networks

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Analyze technical, social, cultural, economic, and political systems

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Foster systems-thinking approaches for real-world problems

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Gain professional practice, demonstrating leadership and decision making

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Build key competencies and character qualities required in the 21st century workforce

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Who's hiring TGP alumni

Awards & Recognition

"#1 Study Abroad Provider for Safety" - Go Overseas Community Choice Awards

Finalist "Global Rural Tourism Competition" - U.N. World Tourism Organization

Forbes 30Under30 - Education

"Sustainability International Impact Award" - PIEoneer Awards

"Education Hero of the Year - COVID-19 Response" - The Stevie Awards Women in Business"

"Company of the Year" - The Stevie Awards Women in Business

"Expander of Frontiers" - Best of Philly®, Philadelphia Magazine

"Innovation in Sustainability Award" - GoAbroad Awards

"Best Education Abroad Provider" - Global Youth Travel Awards

"#1 Summer Study Abroad Program" - StudyAbroad101

"Green Innovator of the Year" - Clean Air Council, GreenFest Philly

Top 10 Young Company Driving Social Change - United Nations Social Innovation Summit

Top 3 Student-Founded Companies in the World - New York Stock Exchange

How it All Started

Melissa Lee (she/her) discovered her love for the environment at a young age, and was travelling before she could walk. No matter where she was, she always found a sense of comfort with nature and discovering new cultures outside of her own.

At the age of 11, Melissa completed her first open-water dive off of a remote island in Malaysia, (where her family is from) which empowered her passion for our oceans and environment. She realized that if you can provide someone with the opportunity to connect with nature, you can unlock a passion within them for protecting it too.

Since then, she knew that she wanted to dedicate her future to help protect our environment and vulnerable communities who bear the brunt of climate change. Fast forward to 2009, The GREEN Program was created by a few Rutgers University students who had a knack for adventure, and a mission to empower the future generation of sustainability leaders around the world. Today, the TGP team continues to expand and share our knowledge, passion, and experience with nearly 4,000 students and professionals globally. We are advocates for climate justice and exploring the intersections of pressing challenges that both people and planet face today.

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The GREEN Program Team


Melissa Lee

Founder, CEO

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Sumie Song, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Partnerships

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Andrea Smith

Assistant Director of University Partnerships

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Briar Bones

Community Engagement & Administrative Coordinator

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Dr. Sagar Sharma

Professor, Kathmandu University

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Matthew Villante

TGP Guide – Iceland

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Jillian Verbeurgt

TGP Guide – Iceland

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Eyrún Gyda Gunnlaugsdottir

TGP Guide – Iceland

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Björg Árnadóttir

Iceland Operations

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Sigurður Bjarni Sveinsson

TGP Expeditions

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Arnar Gauti Markússon

Iceland Operations

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Bjarni Guðmundsson

TGP Guide – Iceland

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Jacob Kaminski

Iceland School of Energy Project Manager

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Helga Lucie Andrée Káradóttir

Iceland Guide

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Fernando Chara

TGP Guide – Peru

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María Sigríður Guðjónsdóttir

Iceland Professor

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Einar Jón Ásbjörnsson

Iceland Professor & Education Lead

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Ágúst Valfells

Department Head, School Of Science & Engineering, Reykjavik University

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Oscar R. Ortega

Peru Professor & Education Lead

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Magaly Porroa

Peru Guide

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95% of TGP students experience a sustainability-related shift with an increase in awareness and consciousness of personal impacts, personal exchange, and expertise in sustainability issues.

A research study conducted by Uppsala University

The GREEN Program Blog

Remembering Juneteenth and the Fight for Environmental Justice

Remembering Juneteenth and the Fight for Environmental Justice

n June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. It is on this day every year since that we celebrate “Juneteenth” as the end of slavery in the United States. It is a day that we celebrate ancestors and leaders who fought to be liberated. We celebrate their power, resiliency, and tenacity. 

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LGBTQ+ Leaders and Organizations in Sustainability to Know About this Pride Month

LGBTQ+ Leaders and Organizations in Sustainability to Know About this Pride Month

The GREEN Program loves to celebrate love, and there is no better way to do that this month than by recognizing a few LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations that are making a difference not just in their own communities but for our planet altogether. Read below to learn more about some people and spaces that are working together to promote a better world that focuses on inclusion and equality.

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