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CHCI-Microsoft Environmental Innovation Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: University of Edinburgh; University College London
Degree: MSc in Sociology of Energy; MPA in Energy, Technology and Public Policy
Placement One: U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Majority
Placement Two: Executive Office of the President (EOP)- Council on Environmental Quality

Amar Agustín Bhardwaj (he/him) grew up in Los Angeles, CA as the son of immigrants from India and Colombia. Through these heritages, he developed a deep, intergenerational connection to nature. Grappling with the environmental injustices endured by his relatives and the comparative privilege he was born into, his appreciation for nature shifted into a duty to advance climate solutions and justice. Amar has dedicated his career to working at the intersection of sustainable energy technology and policy to guide effective and equitable climate action.

Amar began this journey as an undergraduate at Columbia University, where he earned a BS in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, and led research to develop clean fuels technologies. After graduating, he was awarded a Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in the UK, through which he completed an MSc in sociology of energy at the University of Edinburgh and an MPA in energy policy at University College London.

Amar has worked to develop an integrative perspective of energy issues across policy, politics, engineering, and society. To this end, he most recently completed a fellowship at the International Energy Agency (IEA), where he worked with national governments, the EU Commission, and the WTO to provide technical insights and policy guidance on clean hydrogen deployment and supply chains. Previously, as a research associate at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, Amar modeled technology options for hydrogen, renewables, and industrial decarbonization to publish timely reports on pressing energy policy debates.

Amar has also served as a member of the Biden presidential campaign’s Energy Policy Advisory Committee and an energy analyst at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the editor in chief of Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development, and an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. Amar has authored numerous publications in energy policy and technology and has presented his work globally, including at the United Nations and in a Congressional briefing. His work has been featured in outlets including Bloomberg, Reuters, NPR, and the New York Times.

Through the CHCI-Microsoft Environmental Innovation Graduate Fellowship, Amar hopes to learn how to leverage an integrative approach on sustainable energy to guide policymaking. He hopes to set the stage for a future career in sustainable energy policy, through which he will continually advocate for ambitious climate solutions that are good for the planet and good for communities of color like his own.