Climate, Energy, & Environment Professional Interest Council
A Student-Run Organization at Harvard Kennedy School
Mission: The Climate, Energy, and Environment Professional Interest Council (CEEPIC) provides a focused community for Harvard Kennedy students to explore and engage with the complex challenges of the global climate crisis. Each semester, CEEPIC organizes a variety of events related to climate, energy, and the environment that bring students together with faculty, policy makers, and subject matter experts.
CEEPIC also works in partnership with the Sustainability Leadership Council to identify opportunities to integrate conversations about climate, energy, and the environment as core parts of the HKS curricula and student experience.
CEEPIC events are open to HKS students and the wider Harvard community. Our members' interests span many different policy domains, and we strive to ensure the diversity of perspectives, expertise, and lived experiences among our members is reflected in our programming.
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Gray Bender is a MPP candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School, with a focus on climate change and energy policy. Gray received a B.S. in civil engineering with a minor in business entrepreneurship, followed by five years working as an Energy & Sustainability Consultant with global engineering consultancy Arup. In this role, he led a broad range of projects for public, private, and non-profit clients, covering topics from decarbonization and carbon management to energy resilience for campuses, cities, and portfolios. This past summer Gray worked with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on the Sustainable Energy Team, and is currently a lead research assistant with the Belfer Center’s Geopolitics of Energy Project.
Maya Vishwanath is a MPP candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Maya is from the San Francisco Bay Area, and is passionate about clean tech and sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and technology policy. She received a B.S. in quantitative economics and environmental studies, and has experience working with environmental policy across the public and private sectors, as well as with technology consulting for nonprofits and NGOs. At Harvard, Maya is also involved in research with the Belfer Center’s Technology and Public Purpose project.
Aneesa is a policy professional, passionate about harnessing the power of evidence-based policy to create sustainable and equitable places. She has six years of experience in state and local government as well as strategic consulting, working to transform the infrastructure and transportation sectors. Aneesa spent several years working in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. As Infrastructure Manager, Aneesa helped direct the Mayor’s agenda on mobility and green infrastructure. Most recently, Aneesa served as the Harvard Dukakis Fellow in the Office of New Jersey Phil Murphy, driving the implementation of the bipartisan Infrastructure bill, specifically focusing on equitable EV deployment. Previously, she worked at HR&A Advisors, Inc., a national urban development advisory firm. Aneesa graduated from Swarthmore College’s Honors program with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy. After receiving her Master’s in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, she hopes to work at the nexus of the public and private sector on decarbonizing city and state services, specifically zeroing out the main sources of harmful emissions: buildings, transportation and streets.
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Mahabub Rahman is a career diplomat. He joined Bangladesh Foreign Service in 2013 after his graduation in Economics. Since then, he worked in various capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka and Bangladesh Missions in Istanbul and Geneva. Mahabub was Bangladesh delegate/alternate delegate to different international organisations in Geneva including the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Conference on Disarmament (CD), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), TRIPS Council at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) etc. He served as the Regional Coordinator of the Experts from the Asia and Pacific region at WIPO from 2020 to 2021. His key focus for career development is on leadership, negotiation, international development, and conflict resolution. Mahabub highly values democracy, social and economic equity, and human rights as the ultimate determinants of peace and development in the societies. He is currently a graduate student at Harvard Kennedy School. Mahabub is an Edward S. Mason Fellow and a Fellow at the Ash Centre for Democratic Governance and Innovation for the 2022-23 academic year.
Louis is a Kennedy Fellow and a first-year MPP candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. He grew up in France, but also spent time in Ireland, Japan, and Côte d’Ivoire. Prior to joining HKS, Louis was working as a consultant with McKinsey & Company in Paris, where he focused on public sector and energy-related engagements. He also spent a year researching innovation management at the French Space Agency. His professional interests include the future of nuclear energy, sustainable business, and impact investing. Louis sits on the HKS Sustainability Committee and holds a Masters in Management from HEC Paris.
Richa Chaturvedi is pursuing a joint MPP & MBA degree at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Before coming to HKS, Richa was an associate at New Leaf Climate and a Policy Consultant at Uniswap Labs. Previously, she was an associate in BlackRock Sustainable Investing where she developed the firm’s climate advisory practice and climate investment analytics. Prior to this role she was a member of the Portfolio Analytics Group, where she modeled financial risk for large institutional investors. Richa has also held roles at the Pew Research Center and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. She holds an AB from Harvard University in Applied Mathematics and Government.
William Jensen Diaz
William Jensen Diaz is currently studying at Harvard Kennedy School of Government a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration as an Edward S. Mason Fellow. In May 2010 he started his career in the energy sector. His first job was at the Ministry of Energy of Mexico, as Head of Department for North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2012 he was appointed Deputy Director for Foreign Affairs. In 2013 he assumed the position of Deputy Director for North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2012 he was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program of the United States Department of State on renewable energy and climate change. In 2015 he obtained the Chevening scholarship from the British Government to study an MSc International Public Policy at University College London (UCL). From 2016 to 2021, he worked as an advisor at the German-Mexican Energy Partnership, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. He is member of Chevening Alumni Mexico since 2016 (Vice President 2018-2020). He was president of UCL Alumni Mexico from 2019 to 2022. Associate of the Mexican Council of Foreign Affairs (COMEXI)
Roman started his professional career in 2003 after graduating from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland with a MBA in finance, accounting and controlling. For more than a decade, Roman has been an accomplished entrepreneur and founder of sustainable tech startups and impactful private sector businesses. Currently, he is the Managing Director at Freya Savings AG, a Swiss fintech company serving clients in the banking and insurance industry with sustainable digital investment solutions. Roman is also the Chair of the Finance Committee at Kraftwerk1 Genossenschaft, a leading social housing cooperative in Zurich, with USD 200m in assets under management. Roman is currently enrolled at the John F. Kennedy School of Government where he completes a Mid-Career Master in public administration with a concentration in policy analysis, communication and energy transformation. Together with his wife and two boys he lives in Newton, MA.
Karan Takhar is a clean and renewable energy entrepreneur and scholar with a focus on emerging markets. He is the founder of the ZNRG Foundation, which is a Media and Careers platform that hosts The Zenergy Podcast, a series of interviews with 70 Global Climate Leaders, and connects young professionals to premiere work opportunities in the Climate and Energy Space. For this work, Karan was selected to serve as the US Youth Delegate for the 2022 Global Clean Energy Ministerial. Additionally, Karan was an International Affairs Fellow for the U.S. Department of Energy and a Fulbright Scholar for the U.S. Department of State. In these capacities, he briefed senior government officials about clean energy issues and projects, and provided analysis that supported U.S. international energy engagements. Karan is pursuing a MPP at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, (Expected Graduation: 2024), after receiving a B.S. in Finance from Wake Forest University.
Prior to the Harvard Kennedy School, Karina was working within the United Nations organization as an infrastructure finance specialist executing impact-oriented projects. Her experience spans the globe, with projects across Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia. Her role as the CEEPIC Entrepreneurship Director is centered around leading and supporting climate-tech and cleantech ventures at HKS. Her professional interests include the energy transition, impact investing, and climate policy. She also co-chairs an energy-related subgroup at the Harvard Innovation Lab.
HKS Sustainability Office Liaisons
Leonie is a Pre-doctoral Research Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP), investigating green hydrogen value chains. Currently, Leonie is doing her MSc in Management, Technology, and Economics at ETH Zurich. In her master’s, she specializes in low-carbon technologies and energy science. At the beginning of her studies at ETH, she joined Prof. Volker Hofmann’s “Sustainability and Technology” (SusTec) group as a tutee and student assistant, responsible for re-designing the chair’s signature “Corporate Sustainability” lecture. She did her bachelors in industrial engineering at the University of Bayreuth (GER), where she graduated in the top ten percent. Moreover, she graduated from the summer school program “machine learning in practice” at Peking University. Next to her academic work, she gained work experience in various roles and companies, centering around green hydrogen, decarbonization, and sustainability topics.
Tine Hertz is a national of Denmark, is currently a partner in Kaya Advisory, providing global climate policy advice to ambitious investors and corporate leaders to advance decarbonization efforts. Tine has a career as a civil servant for the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, where she headed the International Division, responsible for negotiations on Single Market-, Corporate Social Responsibility-, and Consumer-regulations in the European Union on the part of Denmark as well as maritime affairs. Tine is a Crown Prince Frederik fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government currently completing a Mid-Career Master of public administration, focusing on the political aspects of climate change, and the levers that can forward decarbonization through international cooperation and the deployment of known and new technology.
Rushabh is an MPA/ID candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. With interests at the intersection of policy, industry, and development, Rushabh is keen on exploring public-private partnerships for fostering energy transition. Prior to HKS, Rushabh was a Project Manager at Kinetic Green, an Electric Vehicle Manufacturer in India, where he oversaw strategic partnerships with public utilities for enabling low-carbon mobility transition. Previously, he worked at the Growth Lab at Harvard’s Center for International Development on investment promotion, diversification, and macro risk projects in Ethiopia, Namibia, and Australia. Rushabh has also worked in strategy consulting at IQVIA and Booz Allen Hamilton for various public and private stakeholders. Rushabh graduated Summa Cum Laude from Tufts University in 2018, with a BSc. in Quantitative Economics and Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Alibek Nurbekov has been working in the financial services industry for the past eight years responsible for developing new financial instruments for both the Central Bank of Kazakhstan and the Astana International Financial Centre Authority. Prior to that Alibek worked in investment and export promotion and energy sectors. Alibek also spent time working at a government-run think tank responsible for regional development strategies aimed at enhancing Kazakhstan's competitiveness. He started his career in the largest sugar manufacturing company in Central Asia as a trade finance manager 20 years ago. Currently Alibek is pursuing Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree at Harvard Kennedy School of Government as Edward S. Mason Fellow and Bolashak Presidential Scholarship recipient. Alibek’s post-HKS goal is to pivot into impact investment field.