Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, the College and the Harris School; Director, EPIC and Becker-Friedman Institute
Michael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School, as well as the Director of the Becker Friedman Institute and the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. He previously served as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he co-led the development of the United States Government’s social cost of carbon. Greenstone also directed The Hamilton Project, which studies policies to promote economic growth, and has since joined its Advisory Council. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and a former editor of the Journal of Political Economy. Before coming to the University of Chicago, Greenstone was the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at MIT.
Greenstone’s research, which has influenced policy globally, is largely focused on uncovering the benefits and costs of environmental quality and society’s energy choices. His current work is particularly focused on testing innovative ways to increase energy access and improve the efficiency of environmental regulations around the world. Additionally, he is producing empirically grounded estimates of the local and global impacts of climate change as a co-director of the Climate Impact Lab. He also created the Air Quality Life Index™ that provides a measure of the gain in life expectancy communities would experience if their particulates air pollution concentrations are brought into compliance with global or national standards.
Greenstone received a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University and a BA in economics with High Honors from Swarthmore College.
Ken Lee is the Director of Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) and a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Economics, University of Chicago. Prior to this role, Ken served as the Executive Director of EPIC India, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) and the Energy Institute at Haas. Ken researches questions in the areas of development economics, environmental, and energy economics, and has designed field experiments in Kenya and India. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MIA from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University.
Executive Director (EPIC)
Sam Ori is the Executive Director at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). From 2013 to 2015, he served as Executive Vice President at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to reducing American oil dependence in order to enhance economic and national security. From 2007 to 2013, Sam led SAFE’s policy work on a variety of topics, ranging from global oil and natural gas markets to transportation technology. Prior to joining SAFE, Sam spent four years working in the federal government at the Broadcasting Board of Governors and Department of State, including at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.
Deputy Director (EPIC)
Lindsay Iversen is the Deputy Director at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). Prior to joining EPIC, she was the Associate Director, Climate and Resources at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a leading foreign policy think tank, where she played a central role in CFR’s work on climate change, food security and water security. She previously served as Special Assistant to the President, Research for CFR’s president, Richard Haass. In that role, she was the lead researcher on Haass’s 2013 book, “Foreign Policy Begins at Home,” and a member of a small team leading peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Iversen also has worked as a consultant to the agricultural development program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and conducted research for several UK-based organizations working on conflict and development issues. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
Vicki Ekstrom High
Senior Director, Communications & External Engagement (EPIC)
Vicki Ekstrom High is the Senior Director for Communications and External Engagement for EPIC. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Vicki created and led the media and public relations efforts for the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. She was also a speechwriter for the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, and a Press Secretary for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship under the chairmanships of Senators Mary Landrieu and John Kerry. Vicki started her career in Washington D.C. as the national beat reporter for the Bangor Daily News.
Lead - Research and Strategic Partnerships
Shruti leads Research and Strategic Partnerships for the AQLI, as well as EPIC-India. In this role, Shruti develops research partnerships related to energy and environmental policy, forms strategic alliances for AQLI, manages research, and develops and expands EPIC-India’s pipeline of applied economics research projects.
Shruti recently served as the Head of Research at Climate Vault, a non-profit founded at the University of Chicago that leverages existing carbon markets to help organizations and individuals meet their carbon reduction goals. Before this, Shruti spent several years at J-PAL South Asia, where she managed the Energy and Environment Portfolio. She has experience working on energy access issues, air pollution, net-zero strategies, and carbon markets. She has also briefly dabbled in health and governance research.
Shruti completed her MPP degree from the University of Chicago and holds a Masters in Economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and a Bachelors in Maths & Statistics from Banasthali University.
Ashirbad S. Raha
Director of Communications, EPIC India
Ashirbad directs the communications strategy for EPIC India and leads the institutional efforts of simplifying research for mass consumption through targeted outreach, campaigns, media engagement, social media marketing, and public events.
A former journalist, over the last 13 years he has spent his time working with the media, international nonprofits, humanitarian agencies, and research groups. His expertise in strategic communication and stakeholder engagement comes in from his different assignments in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives among others.