Current Research Group Members
Projects: Low carbon materials and climate policy
Ankita Gangotra is a postdoctoral fellow who holds a joint fellowship in the School of Foreign Service and the Department of Physics at Georgetown. Ankita has an integrated Masters in Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology from the University of York, UK (2015) and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2020). During her Ph.D. she focused on materials science, developing a new apparatus called microaspiration to study the mechanical properties of soft matter such as microparticles and biological cells. During her time in New Zealand, Ankita did an internship at the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor looking into equity, diversity, and inclusion policy options for New Zealand’s science, research and innovation workforce. Most recently she was a measurement and policy scientist at Toha NZ, an environmental data science start-up, working on projects like sustainable agriculture, native reforestation, and biodiversity. An ardent supporter of women in STEM, Ankita co-founded the first Society for Women in Engineering at the University of York. She has won prizes for science communication and in 2018 was awarded the University of Auckland Leadership Award.
Projects: China’s climate policy; clean energy innovation in China; International Partnerships and Technological Leapfrogging in China’s Clean Energy Sector
Youqiao Lu is a part-time research analyst supporting multiple research projects in the Clean Energy & Climate Research Group. She completed her Master of Public Policy at Georgetown University in May 2020. Her master’s thesis focused on the impact of off-grid solar technology on reducing kerosene spending for households in rural India. In order to systematically understand Chinese environmental policy and politics, Youqiao joined Professor Lewis’ research team in fall 2019. Before that, she interned at International Finance Corporation and Climate Finance Advisors for 10+ renewable energy and climate finance projects. Youqiao earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Shandong University with one-year exchange to the University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Youqiao enjoys playing tennis, travelling and opera.
Former Research Group Members
Project: Policy and Market Factors of China’s Rise to Renewable Dominance
David Yellen is a senior at Georgetown University studying clean energy policy through the lens of government and economics. He is also a Project Assistant at the Atlantic Council working on clean energy markets and policy research, focusing on China’s energy exports and the role of oil and gas companies in the energy transition. David joined Professor Lewis’ research group in the fall of 2019 to focus more closely on China’s renewable energy development and future as an energy leader. For his thesis, David is studying the policy and market conditions that have allowed China to take the lead in clean energy technology industries by comparing China’s solar and semiconductor industries and contrasting those with the United States’ industries. When he isn’t working on energy, David enjoys cooking, playing keyboard and saxophone, and playing soccer.
Projects: Understanding China’s Role in Global PV Technology Dissemination; International Partnerships and Technological Leapfrogging in China’s Clean Energy Sector
Margaret is currently a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow based in Japan. From 2018-2019 she was a Fulbright Scholar based in China at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She completed her master’s degree at Georgetown University in May 2019, pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in Communication, Culture, and Technology, and earned a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in Mandarin Chinese from the United States Naval Academy in 2010. After commissioning, she served for six years on active duty in the U.S.Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer throughout the Western Pacific. Following her active service, she traveled throughout Europe and Southeast Asia. She is passionate about preserving the environment and ensuring resource security in addition to minimizing the effects of climate change on the globe. After her first semester, she joined Professor Lewis’ research team in summer 2017 to better understand the spectrum of renewable energy technology and policy, as well as the complexity of international relationships related to this field. When she finds a moment to step away from her studies, she enjoys traveling to new places, cooking with vegetables from her garden, and ballroom dancing.
Hong Yang recently completed her master’s degree in the Master of Public Policy program at Georgetown University’s McCourt School. She has a Bachelor of Economics in Risk Management and Insurance from Peking University in China. Her passion and research focus include the water-energy-food nexus, air pollution solutions, clean energy and climate change. To better understand the challenge and opportunity between China and U.S. on climate change and clean energy, Hong began to work as a research assistant to Prof. Lewis in the summer of 2017. She also works as a consultant at the World Bank on sustainable mobility. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Hong developed two patents, one of which is now being used at an environmental technology company in China. She loves yoga, traveling, and playing board games.
Project: Innovation and technology transfer in China’s solar PV industry
Project: Innovation and technology transfer in China’s energy storage industries
Margaret is a senior at Georgetown studying Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Energy & Environment. Since she was young, early morning bird walks and butterfly festivals with her mother who works for the Audubon Society helped her develop a passion for environmental work. Margaret became interested in China after she began studying Mandarin in middle school, which led her to study abroad in Shanghai for a semester. She joined Professor Lewis’ research team in Fall 2018 to study China’s energy and environmental policies, especially as they pertain to its international cooperation and competition. Margaret has interned with the National Park Service and on Capitol Hill, focusing on community engagement in conservation and public relations. On campus, she is the managing editor of The Georgetown Voice and a frequent visitor at the Heyden Observatory.
Paul is a Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellow and a sophomore at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service majoring in International Political Economy. He is a French-American dual citizen from Larchmont, NY, and attended bilingual school through 8th grade. Professor Joshi’s freshman proseminar, “Development in India,” gave him a taste of the kinds of insights research and data analysis can offer into the politics of financial liberalization and the tensions between growth and development in emerging economies. Throughout his freshman year and over the summer, he then worked on a number of research projects examining the dynamics between domestic politics and global trade policy in countries of different income levels. He is a member of Georgetown’s Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, a Vice President in the Georgetown University Student Investment Fund, and a fan of classic film, history and economics podcasts, and the New York Knicks.
Laqiqige Zhu is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. As a Mongolian born Chinese citizen, and seeing the serious pollution and desertification on grassland, she began to focus on environment and energy policy. This fall, Laqiqige began to work as a research assistant for Prof. Lewis, focusing on South-South Cooperation, China technology innovation, and renewable energy policy in China. Besides assisting Prof. Lewis’ research, she has also interned at World Resources Institute, working on climate and sustainable development agendas, and undertaking analysis of the synergies between the INDCs and SDGs. Prior to WRI, she interned at Worldwatch Institute, conducted research on climate change policies and renewable energy developments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This year, she was selected as China Youth and Georgetown University Delegate to participate COP 22 at Morocco.
Project: International Cooperation on Climate Change between China and India
Yuyan Weng is a Ph.D. Candidate in Management Science and Technology and part of the Institute for Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University. From February – August 2016 she is a visiting researcher at Georgetown University in Professor Lewis’ research group. Her research has included investigating the path of carbon emissions for China, India and Brazil; examining the cooperation mechanisms and forms in terms of emission reduction and climate change; and analyzing the effect of cooperation on national reduction targets as well as on the economy, industry, and trade.
Alex Donovan is a senior at Georgetown University majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs, concentrating in Business, Growth and Development with a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. After taking the STIA introductory course with Prof. Lewis, Alex developed a strong interest in the intersection of emerging alternative energy sources, traditional energy sources and the private sector. This summer, Alex has worked as a research assistant for Prof. Lewis, focusing on various aspects of China’s high-level cooperation and collaboration with countries such as Brazil, Japan, Thailand, the US, and the EU regarding climate change mitigation and energy policy. After graduation she hopes to start a career that focuses on how the private sector is responding to shifting energy sources and new government initiatives.
Xiang Li (Vicky) is a current graduate student at Georgetown University, pursuing a master’s degree in public policy. Prior to Georgetown, she worked as a news editor for a major Chinese TV network in Hong Kong. During this job, she became really interested in policy analysis and U.S.-China relations, where collaborations on clean energy and emission reduction play significant roles. To better understand the dynamics between China and the U.S. on energy cooperation, she joined Professor Lewis’ research team at the end of her first year study. Besides assisting Prof. Lewis’ research, she has also interned at the Wilson Center, examining China’s urban policies, and has worked as a part-time correspondent for a Chinese political magazine. She is a 100% certified foodie and organic food advocate (protecting the environment!).
Project: International Partnerships and Technological Leapfrogging in China’s Clean Energy Sector; Adaptation and Mitigation Linkages in the United States and China: Comparing Climate Resilience Initiatives and Implications for Sub-National Policy
Mia is a finishing her last semester in Georgetown’s Public Policy and Economics dual Master’s program. Born and raised in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China, Mia believes future diplomats sould obtain their best training in the most influential place of international relations, so she came to DC for higher education and received her B.A. from George Washington University in International Affairs and in Economics. Mia is enthusiastic about environmental issues in emerging economies, global cooperation on climate change and clean energies. To further her interests in these fields, she joined Professor Lewis’s research team in summer 2014. Mia has interned in the Brookings Institution, the UK Parliament and Morgan Stanley Beijing prior to her current position. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, dancing and traveling.
Project: Environmental NGOs and Social Media in China
Lyssa is a senior in the Georgetown School of Foreign Service majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs. While studying Mandarin for a semester in Beijing, China, her interest in environmental health was piqued by the intersection of air pollution, health, and relevant policies. After returning, she began to work with Professor Lewis on developing a plan to further investigate political and social factors in NGO action on air pollution in China, eventually proposing it as a thesis topic. After working on completing pre-med requirements this past summer, she had the opportunity to return to China on the Georgetown Environment Initiative Summer Fellowship and the SFS Improving the Human Conditions Grant to conduct interviews regarding her thesis. She is looking forward to establishing a career in which she can merge her interest in environment, health and policy.
Project: Energy Security in China’s Petroleum Sector
Kitty is a Senior from Shenzhen, China and Orange County, California. Majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs with a concentration in Business Growth and Development, Kitty will be continuing her education after three years of Georgetown at Columbia University, pursuing Computer Engineering. She hopes to combine her passion for both technology and international affairs in Finance, where she can bring insights to her Sales and Trading team of the impacts from the technological and policy sectors. In Spring 2015, Professor Lewis’s Senior Seminar China’s Energy and Environment had a profound impact on her understanding of China’s energy systems and policies, inspiring her to pursue an Honors in the major. Her Honors Thesis work will focus on Chinese oil strategy moving toward 2030, focusing on the dynamic elements of national supply, domestic demand, environmental concerns, and foreign import strategy. When she is not reading about the global markets or trying to make Tombs’ 99 days, Kitty loves cooking for friends, Sex and the City on Amazon prime, competing in half marathons, and traveling with her family.
Project: Energy Storage Technology Development and Commercialization
Lilian Lee is a master’s candidate in the Master of Science in Foreign Service program at Georgetown University. She is researching the technology, deployment, and commercialization of energy storage with a grant from the Georgetown Environment Initiative. Dr. Joanna Lewis is serving as advisor for the research project, which will have an international focus. Concurrently, Lilian is interning with the Renewable Energies team at the Department of Commerce. Prior to graduate school, she worked at Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights in Seoul, South Korea, where she was part of the international advocacy team for four years, initially as a Fulbright research fellow. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from UCLA and will join Deloitte Consulting’s federal practice in 2016.
Feiyang Han is a current graduate student at Georgetown University majoring in public policy. She is a graduate of Renmin University in Beijing, China where she focused on economics, public finance and taxes. She joined Professor Lewis’ research team in at the end of her first year studying in the U.S after becoming very interested in renewable energy development and wanting an opportunity to have a deep look at this industry. Her interest in renewable energy started with the issue of climate change but broadened to include international cooperation, economic impact, and influence on traditional energy industries. Besides renewable energy, she also studies public management and policy impacts in economy and financial industry. During her free time she loves dancing, traveling and playing tennis.
Ellen is a senior in the School of Foreign Service, majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA). She hails from San Francisco, CA and is planning on returning to the Golden State eventually. She took Professor Lewis’s proseminar class “Leapfrogging Technologies for Sustainable Development” in the fall of her freshman year, which confirmed her desire to become a STIA major. Ellen is particularly interested in clean energy technologies and how businesses implement sustainable practices. Ellen’s past experience includes assisting Prof. Lewis on her research on the U.S. – China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) last fall, interning for Sweetgreen last spring, and interning for Georgetown University’s Office of Sustainability this past summer. In her free time, Ellen enjoys running, cooking, and exploring DC.
Daisuke visited Georgetown while he was completing his Ph.D. at the University of Zurich. His research deals with international transfer of clean energy technologies to developing countries, analyzing how multi-layered governance in climate and energy fields may influence technology strategies of firms in developing countries. His dissertation examined wind power technology transfer in China and India. He is currently an Associate Professor in the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.
Chloe is a junior from California with a passion for exploring ways to solve environmental issues through technological innovation and international cooperation. She is majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs with a concentration in Energy and the Environment. Because China is a major contributor to environmental problems as a result of its size, population and growth rate, Chloe researches China-related issues and hopes to attain professional native-like fluency in Mandarin. In 2013, she lived in China for six months as a Critical Language Scholar and a Boren Scholar in Advanced Mandarin, during which she analyzed China’s plans to increase its supply of natural gas as a substitute for coal. In her free time, she likes to explore the science of cooking, start composing short stories, and go for long-distance runs with her family. After college, she will devote an indeterminate number of years to international travel, either as a foreign service officer or a member of the Peace Corps.
Wei is currently a second-year student from the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program in the School of Foreign Service, concentrating on international development. A native Chinese originally from Beijing, she was a decade-long international news reporter and PR consultant for Chinese energy and consumer product companies. Witnessing the dramatic changes to energy and climate landscape in China and across the world in the past 20 years, she is determined to pursue more academic education in MSFS and eventually a career to make the world a better place with sustainable development. To achieve this goal, she has taken two courses with Prof. Lewis in the 2013 fall semester, China’s Energy Challenges and Climate Change Science and Policy, and three other courses on low carbon energy and sustainability. She also interned with the energy and climate program in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace between March and June in 2013, assisting with a study on the Chinese clean coal value chain. Wei received a Bachelor of Science from the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing and a Master of Professional Studies in PR/Corporate Communications from Georgetown.
Yasmin Fouladi received her B.A. from Cornell University in Asian Studies and in English, and is currently a first-year student in Georgetown’s Asian Studies Master’s Program. She graduated with honors with the completion of her thesis: China’s Energy Security, Factors for Engagement with Iran, Venezuela, and Sudan. Yasmin also served as Head Editor for Cornell’s Rice Magazine, which focused on Asian current affairs and culture. Yasmin has interned at the National Committee on United States-China Relations in New York City. She has also worked as a Program Assistant at the US-Asia Institute in Washington, D.C. where she assisted with the J. Matthew Szymanski Rule of Law Program by acting as a liaison between visiting Chinese fellows and American policymakers. At both organizations, she has created briefing books on China for congressional staff. Yasmin began studying Chinese at the United Nations International School in middle school, which led her to spend a summer at Nanjing University between 11th and 12th grade. She returned to China in September 2011 to study at East China Normal University. While she was there, she also taught English at a school for the children of migrant workers.
Ali is a second-year student in Georgetown’s Asian Studies Master’s Program. She was drawn to the Asian Studies field after deciding to take Mandarin Chinese during undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Foreign Affairs and History, both with an East Asia concentration. After graduation, she moved to Shenzhen, China to teach English to primary students. While living in China she had a fantastic experience getting to know Chinese culture and the Chinese people. After a year of teaching in Shenzhen she moved back stateside to attend graduate school. Once at Georgetown’s Asian Studies Program, she received the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship and is focused on studying Chinese politics and security and improving her Mandarin skills. This summer she completed an internship with the Freeman Chair for China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies working on research in Chinese politics and security issues. During her studies she became interested in the impact of China’s environmental and energy challenges on Chinese politics and security, and hopes to further her knowledge in this area during this project.
Phillip Hah is a junior at Georgetown University majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a Concentration in Energy and the Environment. He is currently studying abroad in Beijing. Phillip was born and raised in Portland, Oregon to two Korean immigrants. The rugged outdoors of Oregon have influenced his interest in environmental policy while his Korean heritage has shaped his interest in East Asia. Phillip speaks Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, among other languages, and has spent a significant amount of time in each of those countries. After graduating from Georgetown, Phillip hopes to either join the Foreign Service or another organization/company where he can make full use of his researching skills and further his interest in international affairs.