About the Instructor

Varun Sivaram is the Douglas Dillon fellow and Acting Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and he is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He is a member of the advisory boards for both the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy.

Before joining CFR, Dr. Sivaram was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. Prior to this role, he served as senior advisor for energy and water policy to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, and oversaw the city’s Department of Water and Power.

Dr. Sivaram’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the Journal of Applied Physics, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Nature, Nature Energy, Nature Climate Change, and Scientific American. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honors in international security. Dr. Sivaram holds a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University, where he developed third-generation solar photovoltaic coatings for building-integrated applications. He lives in Washington, DC.