Alex Michalko

Alex Michalko is a Sustainability Program Manager at Amazon.com, where she focuses on identifying Amazon’s key social and environmental opportunities across all business areas globally. As part of the Worldwide Sustainability team, she works to apply Amazon’s scale and inventive culture to help solve some of the world’s most demanding sustainability challenges. She specializes in materiality, business engagement, and sustainable product development.

Prior to joining Amazon, Alex worked on sustainability initiatives at REI and The Walt Disney Company. At REI, she developed and implemented sustainable business strategies that aligned REI’s efforts to connect people to the outdoors, protect outdoor places, and have a positive impact on both people and the planet. At Disney, Alex worked to help the company achieve its vision of being as admired for its corporate citizenship initiatives as for the quality of its family entertainment experiences, and she specialized in consumer expectations research, stakeholder mapping, and sustainability reporting.

Alex is a member of the Advisory Council for the Center for Leadership & Social Responsibility at the UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Seattle Net Impact Professional Chapter, as a mentor for the Association of Women in Business at Duke University, and as a member of the Industry Working Group of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Alex is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction. She received a MBA and Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, where her master's thesis focused on consumer goods eco-labelling. She holds a BA in International Relations from Standford University. 

Title: 
Research Fellow, Spring 2015
Research Focus: 
Smart Thermostats
Sharing Economy
Specialties: 
sustainability assessment, business strategic development, building efficiency
Email address: 
alex.michalko@drawdown.org
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Michalko
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Ruth Metzel

Ruth Metzel is the Co-founder and Director at Azuero Earth Project in Pedasi, Panama. The mission of Azuero Earth Project is to preserve the earth's ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and promote healthy communities by helping people to make informed decisions, take sustainable action, and share knowledge. Prior to this, Ruth received a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. At Yale, her research explored the agriculture-forest interface and understanding ways in which actors from multiple sectors interact to achieve integrated landscape management objectives.

Ruth has worked with initiatives such as The Forests Dialogue, the International Society of Tropical Foresters, and Yale’s Governance, Environment and Markets Initiative. Before pursuing her graduate studies, she served as the Azuero Earth Project’s first Program Director in Pedasi, Panama. Ruth has a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with concentrations in International Relations, Latin American Studies, and Environmental Studies from Princeton University. Her thesis “From Finca to Forest: Forest Cover Change and Land Use Management in Los Santos, Panama,” allowed her to combine her passion for the Latin American region, environmental issues, and public policy with her love of biological field research. Her environmental research experience includes work with projects in Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, and the United States.

Title: 
Junior Fellow, Summer 2015
Research Focus: 
Silvopasture
Conservation Agriculture
Specialties: 
agroforestry, agriculture
Email address: 
ruth.metzel@drawdown.org
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Metzel
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Mamta Mehra

Mamta Mehra, Ph.D. is an environmental professional with expertise in climate change, agriculture, and natural resource management. She has more than ten years experience working in these sectors.

Dr. Mehra joined Project Drawdown in 2015. Currently, in her role as a Senior Fellow, she is focusing on Drawdown solutions in the Land Use and Food sectors. She is also presenting Project Drawdown at various conferences, and creating awareness of Drawdown solutions. She is also working as an independent consultant and working with various national and international organisations on climate change issues, and is one of the analysts of the Keeling Curve Prize. 

Previously, Dr. Mehra worked in different research capacities for Swiss Aid, UNDP-Australian Aid, and World Bank on projects involving community-based agriculture insurance, capacity-building of civil servants on climate change issues, resource conservation, and diversified farming systems. 

Dr. Mehra is very passionate about application-based research and has started working on a restoration project for the revival of the abandoned croplands through agroforestry practices in her native state in India. In the next phase of work she wants to work on the implementation of Drawdown solutions at various scales.

Dr. Mehra has a master's degree in Water Resource Management and Ph.D. in Sustainable Resource Use Management from TERI University, India.

Title: 
Senior Fellow, Land Use & Research Program Officer
Research Focus: 
Improved Rice Cultivation
Sustainable Intensification of Rice
Farmland Irrigation
Peatland Protection
Coastal Wetland Protection
Forest Protection
Farmland Restoration
Specialties: 
sustainable agriculture, rural development
Email address: 
mamta.mehra@drawdown.org
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Yes
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Mehra
Senior Fellow: 
Senior Fellow
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David Mead

David has more than 13 years of experience as a high performance building specialist, engineer, and architect. He works to integrate engineering and architectural solutions into unified sustainable designs. This involves research, innovation, engineering, and verification of concepts. He has extensive experience in sustainable design, including greenhouse gas inventory tracking, passive building strategies, renewable energy system designs, and the creation of sustainability guidelines for large organizations.  

David is a committed advocate for net-positive buildings and brings an innovative approach to greenhouse gas and energy analysis to advance building performance towards a carbon neutral future. David received a BA in Architecture from Iowa State University.

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Building Effiiciency
Specialties: 
architecture, sustainable design, passive building, renewable energy system design
Email address: 
david.mead@drawdown.org
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Mead
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Victor Maxwell

Victor Maxwell is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland Business School where he is investigating technical evolution in socio-economic systems and specifically volatility effects in decentralized renewable energy based economies. Before beginning his PhD studies, Victor worked for the Patagonia Sur Foundation in Chaitén, a town in the northern part of Chilean Patagonia. In this role, he facilitated educational workshops and developed sustainability initiatives with the local community. These included a reforestation plan for areas that have suffered from volcanic eruptions and a pilot project for cold climate biogas digesters.

Prior to Patagonia Sur Foundation, Victor completed a Master’s of Science program in Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, where he focused on connecting renewable energy systems with community development. During this time, he worked on a variety of projects, including a household biogas digester initiative in rural South Africa, and a project to integrate wind energy and electric vehicles into a smart grid system on an island in Denmark. Prior to this, Victor worked on nuclear and particle physics experiments, part of which took place at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland. He was also involved in physics and mathematics education research, and worked as a teacher for high school and college level students. Additionally, he organized science education events in conjunction with the Miami Museum of Science.

Victor completed his Master’s of Science degree in Sustainable Energy Planning and Management at Aalborg University in Denmark, and completed his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physics at Florida International University.

Title: 
Research Fellow 2016 and Junior Fellow Fall 2015
Research Focus: 
Electric Boilers
Water Saving at Home
Cogeneration
Specialties: 
community development, reforestation, biogas digesters
Email address: 
victor.maxwell@drawdown.org
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Maxwell
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Mihir Mathur

Mihir Mathur is a interdisciplinary researcher who has more than seven years of experience working on climate change and development projects, with a focus on Ecological Economics, Carbon Neutral Development, and Climate Change Adaptation. He currently works at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi as an Associate Fellow in the Earth Science and Climate Change division. This work focuses on finding sustainable adaptation pathways using system dynamics modeling for policy formulation at the local and macro level. He teaches systems thinking and system dynamics to post graduate students as a visiting faculty member.

Some of his recent work includes Modeling Policies for Sustaining Resource Use and Economic Growth, Modeling Urban Carrying Capacity and Measuring Quality of Life, and Modeling Economics of Grassland Livestock Systems Using System Dynamics. Prior to TERI, Mihir did action research on local economics, climate impact assessment, livelihood resilience, and alternative energy at Watershed Organisation Trust, with village communities in Maharashtra. Before working on climate change and sustainability issues, Mihir was working in stock markets and commodity markets as a research analyst.

Mihir received his Bachelor of Commerce in Accountancy from Maharaja Sayaji Rao University and completed his post graduation in Finance with a focus on System Dynamics from Sadhana Centre for Management and Leadership Development.

Title: 
2016 Research Fellow
Research Focus: 
Population
Reduced Food Waste
Specialties: 
System Dynamics, Climate Change Adaptation, Ecological Economics, Systems Thinking, Financial Modeling, Carbon Neutral Development
Email address: 
mihir.mathur@drawdown.org
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Mathur
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Alison Mason

Alison Mason is a mechanical engineer who has dedicated her career to finding solutions to global warming, expanding the use of solar energy, and connecting diverse ideas and initiatives to stimulate action and affect change. She currently works at Spirae, LLC, maker of the Wave platform for management and optimization of distributed energy resources, where she helps energy technology providers, project developers, and utility companies to develop control solutions to enable the integration of up to 100 percent renewable energy sources into large and small power systems.

Prior to joining Spirae, Alison worked on the Commercialization Team at SkyFuel, Inc., a manufacturer of parabolic trough concentrating solar power collectors. There she did extensive modeling of the performance and economics of solar power systems. After taking a solar photovoltaic design and installation course at Solar Energy International (SEI), Alison founded and operated a solar consulting and design business (SunJuice Solar), which installed small-scale solar energy systems.

As Chair of the Fort Collins’ Electric Board from May 2001 to February 2005, Alison drove the creation of Fort Collins’ first energy policy to include a mandate for renewable energy. Working with local environmental non-profit Trees, Water, and People, Alison helped launch a program with the Oglala-Sioux tribe to bring culturally-appropriate, renewable technology to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and at the same time establish a training program and a path to economic opportunity.

Alison is a Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society and received the first Women in Solar Energy award in 2004. She has presented and published numerous papers on various solar energy technologies. Alison completed a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, with a thesis on stratification in solar thermal energy, from Colorado State University. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Materials Science from Rice University.

Title: 
Research Fellow 2016
Research Focus: 
Energy Storage (Distributed)
Specialties: 
solar PV, concentrated solar power, mechanical engineering
Email address: 
alison.mason@drawdown.org
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Mason
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Sumedha Malaviya

Sumedha Malaviya leads the energy efficiency practice at the World Resources Institute (WRI) India, and has more than seven years of experience in the climate change sector. At WRI India, she supports the implementation of the Global Building Efficiency Accelerator, one of the six accelerators under the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (UN SE4All) global energy efficiency accelerator platform. Prior to WRI, she consulted for ICF International (ICFI), where she worked on energy efficiency projects with a focus on appliance energy performance standards and labelling, and demand side management. Sumedha also works for a large regional program for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) called the Low Emissions Asian Development (LEAD) program, which explores green growth.

Sumedha has also worked at the Center for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science (IIS) in a large multi-disciplinary team of climate scientists, policy analysts, meteorologists, and climate modellers. Her time at IIS was a valuable learning experience that taught her the beauty and importance of strong science-based thinking on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Sumedha spent close to two years researching biofuels, agroforestry systems, REDD, and climate change vulnerability and adaptation. During this time, she co-authored several papers for international peer-reviewed journals, including a book chapter published through Springer. Sumedha has supported several workshops, trainings, and technical assistance projects for program countries on implementing Low Emissions Asian Development Strategies or LEDS. Sumedha received a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Botany, both from TERI University.

Title: 
Research Fellow, 2016 and Fall 2015
Research Focus: 
District Heating
HVAC Efficiencies
Refrigerant Management
Electric Boilers
Specialties: 
appliance energy performance standards, co-benefits assessment, biofuels, demand side mangement
Email address: 
sumedha.malaviya@drawdown.org
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Malaviya
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Becky Xilu Li

Becky Xilu Li is an associate at the electricity practice at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Boulder, CO. She is working on power market design and business model innovation in both the US and China.

Becky is interested in energy and environmental policy analysis and practice. She has rich research experience in China’s energy policy, including writing reports on electricity market reform and conducting the first nationwide energy efficiency survey, during which she worked in partnership with both Chinese governments and US consulting teams, such as Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) and Energy Foundation (EF). She also has domestic project experience, including consulting work for local public agencies on behavioral energy efficiency program design. Her clients also include solar manufacturers and cleantech developers, for whom she conducted policy, economic, and business analysis and provided them market strategy reports.

Becky received a master's in Public Policy with an emphasis on Energy and Enviornemtal Policy from the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. She received a master's in Economics from Renmin University of China, and a bachelor's in Economics also from Renmin University of China.

Title: 
Junior Fellow, Spring 2015
Research Focus: 
Demand Response
Smart Grid
Specialties: 
utility-scale energy management, policy analysis, economic analysis
Email address: 
becky.li@drawdown.org
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Li
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Daniel Kane

Dan Kane is a soil scientist and ecologist interested in agroecology, soil carbon and nitrogen cycles, conservation and organic agriculture, and the links between agriculture and climate change. He is currently working towards his PhD at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies studying the application of open-source tools for rapid soil carbon quantification, how soil carbon may foster climate change resilience in agriculture, and how carbon is stabilized in soils.

Dan is passionate about implementing good ideas agricultural research generates to improve the management of agricultural systems and protect natural resources while beneffiting farmers. He views improving agricultural sustainability as a key component of 21st century land stewardship and our response to climate change. Dan is experienced in the design and management of field and lab research, statistical computing in R, data management and analysis, writing, and farming. 

Dan has a MS in Crop and Soil Science from Michigan State University and a BA, cum laude, in Biology from Middlebury College.

Title: 
Research Fellow, 2016 and Fall 2015
Research Focus: 
Biochar
Silvopasture
Compost Application to Rangelands
Nutrient Management
Grazing and Pasture Management
Specialties: 
agroecology, regenerative agriculture, soil carbon cycles, sustainable food systems, conservation tillage
Email address: 
daniel.kane@drawdown.org
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Kane
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