Shara Mohtadi was most recently the Chief of Staff for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy. She led strategic planning, implementation of the recent clean energy and infrastructure legislation, and managed the team in the immediate office supporting the Assistant Secretary. Prior to DOE, Shara led the America’s Pledge initiative, and managed grants focused on the coal to clean energy transition in Asia and Australia at Bloomberg Philanthropies. She was also a senior advisor for climate and energy policy for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). During the Obama Administration, Shara served as an advisor for the energy and environment portfolio at the White House, in the Office of Management and Budget. She is also the lead co-author of the 2015 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) examining the relationship between drought and migration prior to the initial uprising in Syria during the Arab Spring.
Ms. Mohtadi is advising the leadership of the IRI and the Columbia Climate School on options for engaging the private sector to find sustainable funding solutions to adaptation challenges in the developing world. Private sector financed climate adaptation is far behind clean energy financing. Ultimately, how can public sector dollars – which will only grow in coming years – be best spent to catalyze sustainable, market solutions in the ways we are doing with clean energy?