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ISC Hires Shawn Essien As Vice President, People & Culture

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Shawn Essien as Vice President, People & Culture. Shawn will lead ISC’s human resources function, developing and executing ISC’s people strategies and plans, ensuring that equity continues to be a driving force in our organizational leadership, recruitment, programming, operations, policies, and practices.  

As an integral member of the ISC’s management team, Shawn will work closely with her peers to further ISC’s mission to help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. 

Shawn will provide expert guidance and advice not only on HR matters but will bring her perspective as a seasoned professional on the overall management of ISC. 

Prior to accepting this position, Shawn served as a Vice President of Human Resources and a Litigation Attorney, with a strong focus on Title IX discrimination.  Shawn brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in the People Management and Human Resources arenas, which will be invaluable in meeting ISC’s goals and objectives.

A strong connection to her community is essential to Shawn. Her participation in various civic and community groups includes having served as Secretary of The Baltimore Democratic Club (devoted to education and empowerment of the citizens of Baltimore City); and as a Board member for Reaching to the Future (a local non-profit focused on improving the academic, civic and leadership qualities of Baltimore City Public School Students). 


Shawn is a loving wife to her devoted husband, Sema Essien, and mother to two wonderful boys, Kamil and Kori Essien.

Pradnya Haldipur

Acting Co-President, Vice President of Development and Communications

Institute for Sustainable Communities

Founded in 1991, the global climate change mission of the Institute for Sustainable Communities is to help people around the world tackle environmental, economic, and social challenges in building a better future shaped and shared by all. We are in the business of unleashing the power of people to transform their communities. The Institute combines environmental and climate technical expertise and equity to design people-centered strategies and solutions. We work collaboratively with communities hardest hit by climate change and the sectors and stakeholders whose influence and decisions affect sustainability, environmental quality, health, and resiliency.