- Household energy technologies (local dissemination and sustained adoption)
- Programme formulation for local impact
- Gender specialist
- Policy mechanisms for super-wicked problems (i.e. problems characterized by complexity, urgency, and the need for coordination across authorities)
- Public-private partnership structures
- Columbia, BA Urban Studies
- School for International Training, Vietnam Program
- National Outdoor Leadership School, Mexico Program
- London School of Economics, MSc Environment & Development
- Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, PhD Household Energy & Climate Finance
In a nutshell, tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Berkeley, California during the drought years, so that might explain why I have always been so concerned about the environment. I spoke out at city hall against the 580 freeway expansion as a pre-teen. Once I left the Berkeley bubble and started studying development economics and traveling, I came to see how poverty reduction is the more immediate concern for most of the planet. Trying to figure out how climate and development can somehow be aligned has been my research, work, life focus for over twenty years. As geeky as that sounds, these issues really do keep me up at night.
What are you most proud of?
I’m really happy that there are no big disconnects in my life. I love animals, my boys, my wife and family and friends. I’m worried about the planet’s welfare and I’m angered by inequality. My work and my lifestyle really reflect those things, I’m grateful that I get to spend my days living a life I believe in.
How do you like to spend your weekends?
I spend a lot of time clapping and singing in public playspaces. I’m also frequently making pancakes, playing dress up, and chasing people around.
What is the hardest thing you’ve done in the last year?
Defended my dissertation with a newborn at home.
If you were world leader, what’s the first thing you would change?
If I ruled the world, I would make wastefulness and entitlement a criminal offense and I would put children, the poor, and animals on a jury – they would decide if an industrial project, an economic policy, or a city plan could move forward.
I’d also instate the Tobin Tax and a luxury tax on air travel – this would hurt my lifestyle quite a bit but so be it. There would also be some policy initiatives in there to make human settlements more compatible with the needs of other large mammals.
I’m pretty sure there would be a counter movement trying to impeach me as I galloped through the streets in a band of wild horses, confiscating plastic toys and forcing people to finish that last bite of their dinner.