Speakers

Edward Miguel

Edward Miguel is the Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics and Faculty Director of the Center for Effective Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2000.

Ted's main research focus is African economic development, including work on the economic causes and consequences of violence; the impact of ethnic divisions on local collective action; and interactions between health, education, environment, and productivity for the poor. He has conducted field work in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and India.

Ted is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Associate Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics and Journal of Development Economics, recipient of the 2005 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and winner of the 2005 Kenneth J. Arrow Prize awarded annually by the International Health Economics Association for the Best Paper in Health Economics.


Vijay Modi

Vijay Modi is a Professor and past-Chair of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a faculty member at the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Between October 2011 and 2012, he was a member of the U.N. Secretary General’s high-level task force on “Sustainable Energy for All” and he currently leads the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network working group on Energy Access for All.

He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984 and worked as a post-doc at MIT from 1984 to 1986 before joining the faculty at Columbia University. Prof. Modi’s areas of expertise are energy resources and energy conversion technologies. His laboratory, the Sustainable Engineering Lab (SEL), has been responsible for technologies such as “SharedSolar” and widely used tools such as “Network Planner” and a free open-source app called FormHub, used over a million times.

While his early work was on computational fluid dynamics and micro-electro-mechanical systems, his recent work has been on energy infrastructure design & planning; solar energy; energy efficiency in agriculture, and data analytics spanning from urban settings to remote rural settings.

He is currently working closely with city and national agencies/utilities to understand how energy services can be more accessible, more efficient and cleaner. His recent project on minigrids is providing a unique understanding of consumer behavior, demand for energy, and business models for deploying energy solutions and energy efficiency.