Dan Reicher, Google’s (former) Director of Climate Change & Energy Initiatives, spoke this week at UMass-Boston’s launch of its professional education programs in clean energy and sustainability.
Dan Reicher, until last week Google’s Director of Climate Change & Energy Initiatives, told a UMass-Boston audience of several hundred people that the US needs to do much more to “invent the future of clean energy”, using a combination of smart policy, technology, and finance. Reicher told the Wednesday night gathering, “We’re not going to get to where we want to go without taking a more integrated view. Otherwise we’ll miss the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century.” In an interview with the Boston Business Journal at the event, he noted that “even when there are good technological advances, there aren’t policy signals or adequate capital to make changes.”
Reicher’s appearance celebrated the launch of UMass-Boston’s new interdisciplinary professional education programs in clean energy and sustainability, which include an MBA track, a graduate certificate, a Professional Science Masters, and an undergraduate certificate and minor. These programs have been developed by the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness (SERC) with funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and represent a collaboration between the College of Management and the Department of Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences (EEOS). These programs will equip “green and white collar” professionals, policymakers, and business managers with the skills and knowledge needed for the transition to a clean energy economy.
Reicher’s presentation emphasized the need to address systemically and comprehensively the global energy and climate challenge—which means advancing energy efficiency, developing and deploying renewable energy, addressing economic and financial barriers, aligning policy goals, and preparing a highly skilled workforce. “We welcome Dan Reicher to UMass Boston because he understands deeply the interrelated dimensions of the transition to a vibrant clean energy, low-carbon economy,” said Prof. David Levy, Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing and SERC director. “Success depends on developing partnerships among government, business, policymakers, and universities in promoting the clean energy economy.”
Reicher is now leaving Google to become Executive Director of Stanford’s new $7 million Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, a collaboration of Stanford Law School and the Graduate School of Business. Reicher plans to continue his life’s mission from this new position. “U.S. and global energy systems are plagued by serious economic, environmental and national security problems”, said Dan Reicher. “In their resolution lie vast opportunities for job creation, pollution control, and reduced international tensions. The successful integration of policy and finance is key to addressing these problems and seizing the unprecedented opportunities. We need smart policy to set the stage for fundamental change in our energy systems and innovative finance to make things happen – from early stage innovation to the broad-scale deployment of clean energy technologies.”