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CHCI – Shell STEM Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

School: John Hopkins University

Degrees: M.A. International Economics

Placement: U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Born in Washington, D.C., Patricio Portillo was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and traveled often to Central America to visit family and friends. Patricio received his B.A. in international business and economics from Temple University with a concentration in Latin American studies. After graduation, Patricio worked in the field of environmental conservation and also spent a year teaching English in rural Thailand. Returning from Thailand, he pursued his M.A. in international economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a concentration in energy, resources, and the environment.

Visiting Latin America repeatedly provided exposure to the profound discrepancy in wealth that exists between the developed and the developing world. In order to better understand this inequality, and by extension what drives economic growth, Patricio chose to pursue multiple degrees in economics. While at school, Patricio became increasingly aware that growth in developing nations is intrinsically connected to the availability and affordability of energy resources. Consequently, he chose to focus his graduate studies and professional experiences on the energy sector as it relates to the natural environment; interning at an energy and climate think-tank, a Mexican energy regulatory agency (ASEA), and the U.S. Department of Energy.

These experiences have inspired a passion to effectively employ policy to develop energy resources while mitigating the industry’s impact on the environment. As a CHCI Energy Policy Fellow, Patricio seeks to better understand how domestic and international energy legislation can be crafted to address environmental issues without compromising economic growth in developing nations.