February 28, 2021

Watch: Energy in Emerging Markets Career Talks

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Curious about careers related to energy access and energy transitions in low- and middle-income countries?  Check out this career talks session, which focuses on opportunities in governmental agencies and development banks.

This is the second of two virtual career talks organized by the Energy Access Project at Duke University and the Duke University Energy Initiative in February 2021. Duke students from diverse undergraduate and graduate degree programs learned from professionals about their organizations, roles, energy career journeys, and advice. The webinar was moderated by Victoria Plutshack, Policy Associate at the Energy Access Project.  

Sam Kwon: Practice Lead Senior Director, Energy, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) 
Sam Kwon explains the goal and composition of the MCC, a U.S. government agency with a public-private board, and describes the skill sets of professionals on the MCC energy team. To illustrate the day-to-day work of his team, he offers examples of current issues with projects in Nepal and Ghana. Kwon, a graduate of Georgetown Law, also describes his professional journey in development finance.

Dia Martin: Managing Director, U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (IDF) 
Dia Martin offers background on IDF, a U.S. government agency and a development finance institution that operates in 100+ countries. She describes her work as a managing director on the social enterprise finance team in IDF's Office of Development Credit, where she manages a diverse impact investing portfolio that includes energy projects. Martin outlines a typical workday and shares a success story: a $5M loan that helped propel a small company called GreenLight Planet to secure nearly $100M in financing.  

Natacha Marzolf: Principal Development Bank-Energy, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Natacha Marzolf explains the structure and scope of IDB, as well as the makeup of the energy division, where she works. She offers an overview of IDB's energy portfolio; explains the four-pillar framework that guides IDB's work (access, sustainability, security, and governance); emphasizes the importance of knowledge-sharing; and describes initiatives related to regional integration, gender diversity in the energy sector, and innovation. A native of France and a graduate of Harvard Law, Marzolf has worked for IDB for about 25 years, and she describes her trajectory within the institution.

Alisha Pinto (MPP'16): Energy Specialist, World Bank
Alisha Pinto outlines her career journey from Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy, where she graduated with a master's degree in public policy, to her current role as an energy specialist within the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) at the World Bank.  ESMAP is one of the custodians for U.N. Sustainable Development Goal Seven ("access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy"). Pinto explains how ESMAP fits into the World Bank framework. She describes her role in advancing the newly formed Clean Cooking Fund, a $500M fund meant to catalyze and accelerate access toward clean cooking.

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