Rachel is a consultant with RRS and is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist and policy analyst with a passion for applied work to advance circular economy and sustainable materials management efforts. She has expertise in systems-analysis of complex problems and has strong project management experience. Rachel is a Waste 360 40 under 40 2021 award winner.


  • Member of NERC Glass Model Legislation Work Group (2021 – present) 
  • Mentor for Goldwater Scholarship Community (2021 – present) 
  • Co-President of MIT Waste Alliance (2018) 
  • Completion of MIT Leadership Development Seminar (2013) 
  • Teaching Assistant for Cornell’s course on Environmental Chemistry (2012) 
  • Founder and President of Cornell’s Compost Club (2011)

Topical Expertise

  • Sustainable Materials Management 
  • Environmental Policy 
  • Project Management

Recent Speaking Engagements/Publications

  • Perlman, Rachel M.K. (2020). Characterizing the materials footprint of a university campus: data, methods, recommendations. (Doctoral dissertation). 
  • Perlman, Rachel M.K. (2015). Identifying sustainable organic waste management systems in urban India: case study of Pune, India. (Master’s thesis). 
  • Pimentel, D., Cerasale, D., Stanley, R. C., Perlman, R.* , Newman, E. M., Brent, L. C., Chang, D. T.-I. (2012). Annual vs. Perennial Grain Production. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 161, 1–9.
    *Lead author on Section 5 (Perennial grain research and development) & Section 6 (Challenges to perennial grains)


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
    Ph.D. Engineering Systems, Institute for Data, Systems, & Society
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
    M.S. Technology and Policy 
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 
    B.S. Science of Natural and Environmental Systems 


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