Ellen teaches Energy and Enterprise Development at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is the former Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration. At Columbia, Ellen serves as a mentor in the Women’s International Leadership Program and is the faculty advisor for the Women in Energy student group at SIPA. Ellen is also an Ambassador for The Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Initiative that was launched by the Clean Energy Ministerial to close the gender gap in STEM fields. In addition to her faculty appointment, Ellen is a Founding Partner of a social enterprise called Embark Energy that is focused on radically increasing the scale of energy access by empowering thousands of clean energy entrepreneurs in low-income countries. Ellen is also the President and Founder of Sustainable Energy Solutions, a consulting services company that promotes the increased use and deployment of clean energy technologies and services as a means to support economic development and reduce poverty in developing countries.
In 2007, Ellen was the co-founder of Arc Finance, an organization that promotes and expands access to end-user finance for modern energy. Since 1996, Ellen has been actively engaged as a senior consultant for the United Nations Development Programme on sustainable energy, where her work focuses on technical and programmatic support for energy projects in developing countries. Ellen also serves as an advisor and Board Member for social enterprises focused on clean energy, including Simpa Networks (India), Earth Spark International (Haiti), and Empowered by Light (Zambia) and is the Energy Program Advisor for the Clinton Global Initiative.
Ellen started her career in clean energy working for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In the early part of her career, she worked as a Science Advisor to the U.S. Congress and as an exploration geophysicist for Texaco. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a doctoral degree in marine geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.