fbpx Afreen Siddiqi | Harvard Kennedy School
Afreen Siddiqi Photo
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

Afreen Siddiqi is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and adjunct lecturer of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School. She has an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering, an S.M. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems, all from MIT. She investigates complex and dynamic problems at the intersection of technology, development, and sustainability.

Her research focuses on systems planning and performance under uncertainties and system adaptation. Her work seeks to advance theory and methods for analyzing and designing complex adaptive systems using computations, optimization, and simulations. Applications of this work are in several domains including water, energy, agriculture, transportation, and space systems. 

Afreen has developed methods for studying connections between water, energy, and food security, formulated adaptive decision frameworks for infrastructure planning, developed methods for designing reconfigurable space systems, and formulated new metrics and frameworks for quantifying equity in sociotechnical systems. 

Afreen is the co-editor and author of an edited volume, and her research has been published in over a hundred articles, including in peer-reviewed journals including Nature Sustainability, Energy PolicyCurrent Opinion in Environmental SustainabilityWater Resources ResearchJournal of Infrastructure SystemsJournal of Mechanical Design, and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets

Her work on the water-energy-food nexus has been invited for presentation and discussion with high-ranking international policy makers, including at the national planning commission in Pakistan, at science-policy dialogues with experts from China, India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and at several policy and science roundtable dialogues in the Middle East and in Europe. Her work on predicting long-term future water availability in arid regions was noted and included in the US National Academies decadal survey in social and behavioral sciences. She is also a contributing author to the sixth assessment report (working group II, chapter 4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on implications of water, energy, and food interconnections for climate change adaptation.

Afreen has received several awards and fellowships including the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, Richard D. DuPont Fellowship, and the Rene H. Miller Prize (awarded for outstanding research) in Systems Engineering. In her early career, she worked as an applications engineer and as a software engineer at National Instruments (in Austin, Texas), and she also built data acquisition and control systems during technical internships in energy corporations.  She currently teaches graduate-level and professional education courses on issues of development, technology, and sustainability.  


Cities & Communities
Environment & Energy
Science, Technology & Data

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138