I’m attracted to the energy industry because of many independent events in my life. I’ve also been particularly captivated by the amazing individuals who work within the renewable energy industry and its rapidly changing nature.
At Johns Hopkins University, while studying Arabic, I began to understand the effect energy markets have on international and domestic politics and economies. Professionally, I worked on mergers and acquisitions and project financing domestic renewable energy projects. I found these projects to be the most rewarding because of how the projects affected the world around me and because of the passion of the clients. With the desire to transition to the solar industry, I headed to the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
While at Johnson, I’ve joined the Sustainable Global Enterprise Immersion to work on sustainability focused projects with a client company and have been elected to the executive committee for the Energy Club. I remain committed to and passionate about the intersection of the energy markets, politics and climate change. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
In the field of sustainability, growth in the clean energy sector has been the result of market-based outcomes. As such, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to progress in the evolving and expanding clean energy industry. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy, I began my career as a Cal Energy Corps Fellow at Bosch Solar Energy in Germany, where I studied the United States solar market and developed a go-to-market strategy. Upon completing my fellowship, I returned to California to work at the California Public Utilities Commission, where I designed and implemented California’s clean energy programs at both the utility-scale and distributed generation levels. Specifically, I managed utilities’ wholesale renewable energy procurement, helped build the state’s transmission planning model, developed California’s community renewables program, and oversaw incentive programs for solar and other emerging clean energy technologies.
After four years of working in energy policy, I decided to pursue my MBA at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business so that I could be in a position to bring capital to clean energy projects. At McCombs, I am focusing my studies on Finance and as a Vice President of the MBA Cleantech Group and McCombs Cleantech Fellow, I’m helping to increase clean energy’s presence within Texas’s larger energy community. I’ve spent my first semester helping organize Austin’s first solar business festival and consulting for the Energy Storage Association.
Post-MBA, I want to apply my policy experience and finance skills in a corporate finance, corporate strategy or project development role within the clean energy sector. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
I believe that transitioning to a clean energy system in time to avoid the worst effects of climate change is the challenge of my generation. The next 30 years when most people my age will be in the prime of their working lives will determine whether or not we are successful, as a society, in securing the future of the planet. While politicians and engineers have a large role to play, for once this is a great challenge that requires business leaders to not just give money to a cause, but to go out into the world and convince people to buy things that run on clean renewable resources rather than fossil fuels; and things that use these resources more sparingly than older models. It requires business operators to build large successful companies around these technologies and drive them into new markets. This great challenge requires financiers to engineer creative ways to reduce the cost of capital required to finance new clean energy projects so that the energy industry can outcompete fossil alternatives. This is how I plan to spend my career.
I am pursuing a three-year joint-MBA/MPP with Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government. I am using this opportunity to investigate the renewable industry from both a public and private sector perspective. I spent my summer between HKS and HBS at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, assisting in the launch of the EPA Clean Power Plan and investigating the economic and environmental implications of the final regulation. Last summer, I worked in investment banking at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch where I advised SolarCity on a major cash equity financing as well as preliminary strategic sell-side analysis related to their pending merger with Tesla.
Prior to graduate school, I worked for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where I advised the Bloomberg and De Blasio administrations on economic policy and local development projects. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 with a bachelor’s of arts in Economics and Political Science. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
The energy industry is changing as fast as any sector in the world economy. I am fascinated by the financial innovations that enable the ever-accelerating deployment of technology that mitigates the threat of climate change, while expanding options and lowering rates for energy consumers. Prior to starting my MBA at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, I had the opportunity to perform a long-term consulting engagement for a renewable energy finance project covering 11 countries in South and Southeast Asia. This project inspired me to go back to school and deepen the skills required to pursue a finance career in service of the ongoing energy transition.
At Cornell, I serve as President of the Cornell Energy Club, an education and networking resource for business, engineering, and policy students pursuing careers in the energy industry. The Energy Club also hosts Cornell’s annual Energy Connection, an on-campus conference that connects industry leaders with students through a dialogue about issues facing the energy industry. My academic studies are focused through the Environmental Finance and Impact Investing Fellowship, which allows me to pursue a hands-on curriculum at the intersection of finance skills and sustainability topics.
The OneEnergy Scholars Program offers me a valuable opportunity to build on my pre-MBA experience through industry mentorship and a utility-scale solar consulting practicum. Despite the environmental and economic promise of clean power generation technologies, the industry faces ongoing business and political headwinds. I look forward to tackling those challenges and capitalizing on those opportunities with my peers and future leaders. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
I am driven by my love of the natural world and my need to accelerate the transition to a smarter and cleaner grid. I’m earning my Masters of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School at Duke University (Class of 2017) and concentrating in economics and policy. My engineering experience and work with the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewable Center has given me an appreciation for the complexity of energy systems and the mechanisms that can elicit positive change.
Beyond energy, I have applied my skills to co-found the North American Edible Insect Coalition. The group will help establish the nascent industries related to insects as feed and food by organizing the varied interests and resources. I am especially excited by the potential of the feed industry to address two significant ecological issues, food waste and over-fishing. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
Living in Beijing, China in the spring of 2009, I looked out the window every morning to find the same sky: a thick, grey smog of fossil-fueled pollution. The discrepancy between air quality in the United States and China was shocking, and it made me realize how fortunate I was to live where I could easily breathe without having to carry a mask over my mouth. In a very physical and real way, I grasped the importance of clean energy and how critical it is in keeping our planet (and everything on it) healthy.
After graduating from Brown University, I worked at the California Energy Commission, where I was exposed to current energy policies in California, gaining an understanding of the need for energy efficiency, clean energy, and sustainability to reduce our carbon footprint throughout the state. Continuing in this field, I am currently pursuing a master’s degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management with a specialization in Energy & Climate. During my time at Bren, I have interned for Infinity Renewables, gaining insight into how a wind and solar developer aligns its bottom-line strategies with state Renewable Portfolio Standards and federal goals. This past summer, I worked for Gap Inc.’s sustainability team as an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow. In this role, I served as the renewable energy expert, targeting 3 Distribution Centers in the U.S. as candidates for onsite solar.
In my public and private sector renewable energy roles I have seen how important policy – federal, state, and corporate – is in determining renewable energy development. As renewable energy expands, I want to understand the complexities of developing workable environmental policies so that I can use the best science to facilitate clean energy growth while minimizing negative environmental consequences. Furthermore, I want to inspire private corporations to follow these policies, encouraging them to set internal goals that further spread renewable energy. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
My interest in renewable energy began in 2012 when I taught environmental science to children in a slum community in Mumbai. I quickly learned that my students’ most pressing challenge was the lack of access to natural light in their homes. This inspired me to start a social venture called Jal Jyoti, where we used old recycled plastic bottles, water and the power of physics (refraction!) to create a clean source of light that is equivalent to a 55-watt bulb. Over the span of 2 years, Jal Jyoti illuminated over 160 families in Mumbai, leading to an average monthly saving of 25% on a household electricity bill. Our organization won two international awards, and I was invited to speak about my experience at TEDxUPComillas in Madrid in 2014 (the talk can be found here).
I was chosen as one of 25 Young World Future Energy Leaders to participate in the World Future Energy Summit hosted by Masdar in Abu Dhabi. Here, I learned that renewables such as solar were already the key to providing energy access even in developing countries. A 10 day research trip in China sponsored by Tsinghua University confirmed this hypothesis. We interviewed solar developers and manufacturers to better understand how the Chinese solar market works, and I was fascinated to learn how another developing country could incorporate renewables into its energy mix so quickly.
Over summer 2016, I worked at the Evergreen Innovation Group (EIG), the EPC arm of DPR construction. I analysed the energy storage market and crafted potential strategies for EIG to enter the space as a specialized EPC. Through this engagement I learned about innovative new storage technologies and financial models for ancillary grid applications: this excited me about the immense potential of energy storage – especially for behind-the-meter applications.
I’m currently a second-year Master of Environmental Management student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and I’m specializing in both Energy and the Environment and Business and the Environment. My coursework at Yale revolves around how U.S. corporates and utilities can cost-effectively shift to renewable energy. As a Research Associate at the Clean Energy Finance Forum (CEFF) – run by the Yale Centre for Business and the Environment – I write about trends in developing renewables in emerging economies.
I’m excited to continue to explore how to effectively catalyse private investment in renewables in a mature energy market so that I can apply those learnings in India at some point down the line! Connect with me on LinkedIn.