Varun Sivaram

Varun Sivaram
Douglas Dillon Fellow and Acting Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change
Council on Foreign Relations

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 Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, 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.

Recent Publications

December 16, 2016

Varun Sivaram, Colin McCormick, and David Hart write in Morning Consult that the United States is losing the race to build and sell clean-energy technologies, so policymakers need a three-part energy innovation agenda: focus, reform, and invest.

December 13, 2016

The United States is falling behind in the race to capitalize on the burgeoning clean energy market—but the race is not yet lost. This report offers five policy principles and a set of specific reforms for the Trump administration and the 115th Congress to turn the tables.

Recent Events and Presentations

December 13, 2016

Join ITIF for a discussion abut the future of federal clean energy innovation policy and the release of a new report on energy innovation priorities.