The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia|SIPA seeks a Senior Research Scholar for a major research initiative on the topic of energy for development. The position will report to the Center’s Founding Director. Successful execution will require generating original research, project management and communicating research findings to a range of audiences in a manner that maximizes policy impact, as well as contributing to the Center’s wider research and convening efforts.

The focus of the scholarship will be around energy policy and planning in developing countries. Supporting sustainable energy development is a generational issue and is strongly linked to concepts of energy transitions, geopolitics, energy security, and U.S foreign policy. The initiative will leverage linkages between areas of ongoing work in climate change, natural gas, oil markets, renewable energy, energy finance, and energy security at the Center, SIPA and Columbia University. 

Main Responsibilities

Research and Analysis

Identify and execute on priority areas of work and appropriate research methodologies for qualitative and quantitative analysis on both a global and regional scale. Examples of relevant research questions may include:

o   How to create appropriate energy demand projection methodology for countries with huge unmet demand and very low access?

o   How to improve power planning methodologies to combine upstream forecasts, use geo-spatial tools, and come up with useful boundaries between grid and mini grid solutions?

o   How to rapidly scale up renewable energy deployment and integration into the power sector in developing countries?

o   What is the role of natural gas in developing countries?

o   What types of funding sources and financing tools are likely to be the most effective in different situations?

o   What is the role of energy in industrial development and manufacturing in developing countries?

o   How to respond to the challenges related to linkages with other sectors such as water, food, health, and education?

o   What are the implications for global security, foreign policy, and energy security in developing countries?

Regularly publish outputs that provide quantitative and qualitative analysis on issues such as illustrated above (e.g. research reports, articles, op-eds, etc.)

Management, Coordination and Leadership

1) Produce a strategic vision of the program. Develop ways in which the Center can generate unique insights to improve public understanding and debate.

2) Identify the institutions and individuals currently doing leading work in this area and establish and maintain close working relationships with them to explore and develop research partnerships and joint products.

3) Spearhead work with external partners to ensure the timely delivery of joint products.

4) Assist in securing funding from a variety of sources to support the program’s operation.

5) Leverage resources across Columbia University to ensure the program is cross-disciplinary and engages faculty and students.

Convene and Communicate

1) Clearly communicate research findings into actionable, policy-relevant mediums for multiple audiences [e.g. policymakers, private and public sector leaders, general public and research community].

2) Organize senior-level roundtables to incorporate a robust expert review into the research process.

3) Organize public discussions to improve the general understanding of these complex issues.


Minimum Qualifications:

Master’s Degree in energy, economics, public policy or a related field.

10+ years of senior-level experience in global energy analysis and policy, economic development, political science or a related field.

Experience in policy analysis, development or advisory services and management of economic and policy research programs.

Extensive knowledge of energy economics, international relations, public policy processes, related institutional arrangements, and the substantive policy issues.

A proven record of conducting relations at senior levels and the ability to achieve consensus and interact effectively with multiple high-level stakeholders.

Strong communication skills; the ability to build support across partners for better policies, on the basis of evidence-based analysis.

Preferred Qualifications:

Ph.D. in energy, economics, public policy or a related field.

15+ years of senior-level experience in global energy analysis and policy, economic development, political science or a related field.


Please visit our online application site at:  

for further information about this position and to submit your application.

Screening of the candidates will begin immediately and the search will remain open no less than 30 days from the date of posting and continue until filled.  For further information, please contact Jesse McCormick, Center on Global Energy Policy, at

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer; applications from women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged.