People at ILR

people / faculty

Pria Mahadevan

Research and Policy Development Associate


Pria Mahadevan is a Research and Policy Development Associate at the Cornell ILR Climate Jobs Institute. Before coming to Cornell, Pria spent five years working as a journalist, where she produced environmental justice podcasts and covered economic & social inequity for NPR outlets across the country. She also taught English in Brazil for a year on a Fulbright scholarship. Pria has an M.A. in Climate and Society from Columbia University and a B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Spanish Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Teaching Statement

Pria is a mentor to students and younger staff alike, seeking opportunities to share insights, advice, or guidance on problems she may have faced in past workplaces. She looks forward to hopefully applying her teaching background to Cornell's work more directly in the future.

Research Statement

Pria's work at the CJI centers around crafting science-based policies that not only address the urgency of the climate crisis, but also uplift social equity by empowering the labor movement to expand its influence over the clean energy economy. Her research uplifts the idea that the core tenants of the labor movement and the climate movement -- fairness, dignity, and resilience for workers and communities -- are fundamentally intertwined. By advocating for inclusive policies that prioritize the needs of workers while advancing robust climate action, this research can reposition unions on climate action while building a more just and sustainable society. Through interdisciplinary collaboration and coproduction with key labor leaders, this research takes a holistic approach to address the multifaceted challenges of our time.

Service Statement

Pria believes that, given the urgency of both the climate and inequality crises in modern society, this research cannot sit in a vacuum. In other words, part of the research process must involve creating a clear pathway from policy memo or research paper into practice. Through collaborative efforts between the CJI and labor leaders, Pria strives to meaningfully translate academic findings into actionable solutions that promote labor standards and climate justice. She measures her success on the ability to bridge the gap between research insights and real-world impact, with an ultimate goal of aiding the implementation of policies that advance the well-being of both people and the planet.


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