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Growing national and global energy requirements are driving the demand for both renewable and fossil fuels. Meeting global environmental goals will require innovation and adoption of key technologies, including carbon capture, nuclear power, and large-scale battery capabilities.

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Arun Majumdar

Senior Fellow
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Arun Majumdar

Senior Fellow

Dr. Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering (by courtesy), and senior fellow and former director of the Precourt Institute for Energy. He is also on faculty in the Department of Photon Science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. In October 2009, Majumdar was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to become the founding director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), where he served till June 2012 and helped ARPA-E become a model of excellence and innovation for the government with bipartisan support from Congress and other stakeholders. Between March 2011 and June 2012, he also served as the acting under secretary of energy, enabling the portfolio that reported to him: the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Electricity Delivery and Reliability, the Office of Nuclear Energy, and the Office of Fossil Energy, as well as multiple cross-cutting efforts such as Sunshot, Grid Tech Team, and others that he had initiated. Furthermore, he was a senior advisor to the secretary of energy, Dr. Steven Chu, on a variety of matters related to management, personnel, budget, and policy. In 2010, he served on Secretary Chu's Science Team to help stop the leak of the Deep Water Horizon (BP) oil spill. After leaving Washington, DC, and before joining Stanford, Majumdar was the vice president for energy at Google, where he assembled a team to create technologies and businesses at the intersection of data, computing, and the electricity grid. Majumdar is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research in the past has involved the science and engineering of nanoscale materials and devices, especially in the areas of energy conversion, transport, and storage as well as biomolecular analysis. His current research focuses on redox reactions and systems that are fundamental to a sustainable energy future, multidimensional nanoscale imaging and microscopy, and an effort to leverage modern AI techniques to develop and deliver energy and climate solutions. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Majumdar was the Almy & Agnes Maynard Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering at University of California–Berkeley and the associate laboratory director for energy and environment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He spent the early part of his academic career at Arizona State University and University of California–Santa Barbara. Majumdar served as the vice chair of the Advisory Board of US secretary of energy Dr. Ernest Moniz and was also a science envoy for the US Department of State with focus on energy and technology innovation in the Baltics and Poland. He also serves on numerous advisory boards and boards of businesses, investment groups and nonprofit organizations Majumdar received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, in 1985 and his PhD from the University of California–Berkeley in 1989.

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James L. Sweeney

Senior Fellow
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James L. Sweeney

Senior Fellow

James L. Sweeney, known for his work energy economics and energy policy, is a Hoover Institution senior fellow. Sweeney analyzes economic and policy issues, especially those involving energy systems and/or the environment. He has particular research interests in global climate change, automotive fuel economy regulation, electricity market problems, and market structure issues. He is a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, where he was appointed to the faculty in 1971. He also is director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. At Stanford, Sweeney was chairman, Department of Engineering-Economic Systems & Operations Research, 1996–98; chairman, Department of Engineering-Economic Systems, 1991–96; director, Center for Economic Policy Research, 1984–86; chairman, Institute for Energy Studies, 1981–85, and director, Energy Modeling Forum, 1978–84. He recently served on the review panel for the State of California Public Interest Energy Research Program, the National Research Council's Committee on Benefits of DOE R&D in Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy, and the National Research Council's Committee on Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. In 2000, Sweeney was appointed a fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. He was elected a senior fellow of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics in 1999. He won an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Stanford Society of Black Scientists and Engineers in 1989 and the Federal Energy Administration Distinguished Service Award in 1975. Sweeney's publications include Energy Efficiency: Building a Clean, Secure Economy (Hoover Institution Press, 2016), California Electricity Crisis (Hoover Institution Press, 2002), "Trade and Industry Impacts of the Kyoto Protocol," with W. D. Montgomery, in The Business Roundtable, October 1999; "Natural Resource Economics," The Social Science Encyclopedia, 2d ed. (London: Routledge, 1996), "Energy Economics," International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Elsevier Science, 2001), and Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, with A. V. Kneese (North Holland: Volumes I and II, 1993 and Volume III, 1995). Sweeney earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966 and a doctoral degree in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University in 1971.

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