Milton Friedman Professor in Economics; 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.
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.
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.
Qing (Claire) Fan
Qing (Claire) Fan is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), where she works for Director Michael Greenstone on a variety of energy and environmental economics projects. She earned her bachelor’s in mathematics with a minor in economics in 2018 from Pomona College in California. While at Pomona, Claire conducted a field study on attitudes toward sustainable agriculture in farming communities in Punjab, India, and worked on research in applied mathematics and on the economics of social enterprise. Claire is interested in the intersection of environmental and development economics, including the social impacts of climate change, and food and agriculture.
Digital Media Manager
Eric Hernandez is the Digital Media Manager for EPIC. Previously, he strategized and created content for Organizing for Action, a non-profit organization that advocates for President Barack Obama’s political agenda. He also worked with Argonne National Laboratory to develop marketing campaigns for divisions inside the laboratory.
Vicki Ekstrom High
Senior Director, Communications & External Engagement
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.
Communications & Campus Engagement Manager
Joe Popely is Communications and Campus Engagement Manager at EPIC. Prior to joining EPIC, Joe worked for the media relations team at Northwestern University, with a focus on promoting environmental, energy and sustainability research, initiatives and faculty experts. Joe also interned as an account assistant at Chicago public affairs firm Jasculca Terman. Before switching into public relations and communications, Joe was a sports writer and broadcaster with stops at MLB.com, Big Ten Network and a radio group in Iowa. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a second concentration in political science from Indiana University.