iSEE Names New Managing Director, Hires Research Project Coordinator


The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment is pleased to announce the hiring of Elizabeth Murphy as its new Managing Director, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Murphy was serving as a Deputy Director of the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), and she will retain a management position in the Center as well. She replaces Jenny Kokini, who had served as Managing Director since the Institute’s inception in 2013. Murphy will oversee iSEE’s research project managers, financial managers, proposal developers, communications team, and campus sustainability and educational personnel.

“We are going to miss Jenny, who was instrumental in iSEE’s formation and establishing a strong foundational structure, especially in the early years of building our research portfolio,” iSEE Interim Director Madhu Khanna said. “But we are delighted that she left us in good hands with an outstanding leader like Elizabeth. At CABBI, Elizabeth has efficiently and effectively managed 23 partner institutions, 60 faculty researchers, and 300 personnel. We know that will translate well to iSEE and its three main missions. I look forward to her skilled leadership in helping us continue to expand our Institute’s impact across campus and with partner institutions.”

Before her CABBI Project Manager role, which started in 2018, Murphy was a Research Coordinator at the Center. Prior to that, she served 17 years as a Hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Urbana. Murphy received both a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the U of I.


Additionally, in December iSEE expanded its team by hiring Research Project Coordinator Basia Latawiec. Her primary duties will be providing support for iSEE research team proposal development and to the multidisciplinary, multi-institutional Sustainably Colocating Agricultural and Photovoltaic Electricity Systems (SCAPES) project, an “agrivoltaics” study supported by a four-year, $10M grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA).

— Tony Mancuso, Communications and Public Affairs Director