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UC Berkeley professor to advise USAID on sustainable energy development

October 20, 2021
By: Kara Manke
A photo of Daniel Kammen at a desk in front of a large bookshelf.
Daniel Kammen, the James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Professor of Sustainability at UC Berkeley, will serve as senior adviser for energy, climate and innovation for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (UC Berkeley photo by Elena Zhukova)

UC Berkeley professor Daniel Kammen has been selected to serve as senior adviser for energy, climate and innovation for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the agency announced this week.

“The opportunity to work with USAID on energy and sustainable community, industry and ecosystem initiatives is incredibly exciting,” Kammen said. “USAID’s partnerships truly permit a holistic ‘think globally, act locally’ approach to sustainable energy, water and ecosystems in the service of communities, nations and a healthy planet.”

Kammen, a leading expert in renewable energy science, technology and policy, will primarily work with the agency’s PowerAfrica team to develop partnerships with African nations, with the goal of expanding access to sustainable power. He will also work with a number of offices, including USAID’s Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation (DDI), on knowledge systems for sustainable energy, water, and both human and ecological health.

“As we approach the Global Climate Summit, COP26, in Scotland, I am looking forward to working on innovative energy solutions both on and beyond the grid, and to support some of the dynamic programs that USAID’s PowerAfrica has launched,” Kammen said.

At Berkeley, Kammen is the James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Professor of Sustainability with parallel faculty appointments in the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Department of Nuclear Engineering. He is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, and he directs the Center for Environmental Policy. Kammen is also a fellow of the American Physical Society, and in 2020 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to his academic roles, he has served the state of California and the federal government in expert and advisory capacities, including at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and Department of State. Beginning in 1999, Kammen was coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.