In this senior role, Jhirad will be responsible for integrating the use of research and evaluation concepts and practices into the Rockefeller Foundation’s work. He will also coordinate efforts to identify new ideas for programmatic initiatives in areas where the foundation can have a positive impact on the lives of poor and vulnerable people around the world. Since 2003, Jhirad has been vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute (WRI), an organization in Washington D.C. that conducts policy analysis to solve global environmental issues.
“We are delighted that David is joining the Rockefeller Foundation, where he will bring intellectual leadership and creative thinking to the development and assessment of the foundation’s program initiatives,” said Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. “David’s extensive international experience, expertise in his field, and exceptional research, planning, and evaluation skills will help strengthen the outcomes of our work.”
Jhirad said, “I’m honored to join an organization with such a rich history and compelling vision. The Rockefeller Foundation is home to an extraordinary group of top-notch professionals. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with them to seek and support dynamic, innovative, and results-oriented approaches to today’s most pressing global problems.”
WRI President Jonathan Lash added, “While we at WRI are reluctant to see Dr. Jhirad leave, our enthusiasm about his new role is wholehearted. He has been a vital force improving the quality of our work, our intellectual rigor, and guiding our strategic progress. His formidable intellect, global perspective, and delightful collegiality will be missed, but we know that his contributions at the Rockefeller Foundation will complement our work with their global impact.”
Jhirad has authored or co-authored three books and over 100 publications on energy, climate, and development policy. From 1995 to 2001, he served the Clinton Administration as deputy assistant secretary of energy for international energy policy, trade and investment, and was a senior advisor to the secretary of energy. During this time, he also served as the vice-chairman of the governing board of the International Energy Agency in Paris, and the lead U.S. representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Working Group. Prior to these assignments, he directed the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1988 to 1995.
Jhirad has taught courses on technology, energy, security, and global affairs as a visiting professor of science, technology, and international affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He has also held scientific and academic positions at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts.
Jhirad had his early education in India and England. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Cambridge, and a doctorate in applied physics from Harvard, where he won the Bowdoin Prize for Excellence in the Natural Sciences.
The Rockefeller Foundation was established in 1913 by John D. Rockefeller, Sr., to “promote the well-being” of humanity by addressing the root causes of serious problems. The foundation works around the world, supporting efforts to expand opportunities for poor and vulnerable people, and helping ensure that globalization’s benefits are more widely shared. With assets in excess of $3.5 billion, it is one of the few institutions to conduct such work both within the United States and internationally. For more information on the Rockefeller Foundation, visit www.rockfound.org.
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