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Ellen Morris

President and Founder

Sustainable Energy Solutions

Ellen Morris is the Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In addition to her faculty appointment at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Ellen Morris is the President and Founder of Sustainable Energy Solutions, a consulting services company that promotes the increased use and deployment of clean energy technologies and services as a means to support economic development and reduce poverty in developing countries. She is currently a Founding Partner of a new social enterprise called Embark Energy that is focused on radically increasing the scale of energy access by empowering thousands of clean energy entrepreneurs in low-income countries. Their mission is to create clean energy enterprises using a web-based portal that is centered on experiential learning, business coaching, supply chain management, links to financing and access to high quality energy products.

In 2007, Ellen was the co-founder of Arc Finance, an organization that promotes and expands access to end-user finance for modern energy. Since 1996, Ellen has been a senior consultant for the United Nations Development Programme on sustainable energy, where her work focuses on technical and programmatic support for countries seeking to advance energy as a means for poverty reduction and enterprise development. Ellen serves as an advisor and Board Member for social enterprises focused on clean energy, including Simpa Networks (India), Earth Spark International (Haiti), and Empowered by Light (Zambia).

Ellen started her career in clean energy working for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In the early part of her career, she worked as a Science Advisor to the U.S. Congress and as an exploration geophysicist for Texaco. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a doctoral degree in marine geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.

Ellen’s research areas include energy, social enterprise, sustainability, development, and micro-finance. Ellen has provided expert assistance via the Clean Energy Solutions Center through a training webinar titled “Financing Clean Energy Solutions in Developing Nations”, and development of an e-learning module on “Eradicating Energy Poverty and Building Sustainable Businesses”. This e-learning module is included within a full course offering on renewable energy, funded by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and developed through a collaborative effort between the Clean Energy Solutions Center, Leonardo Energy, and Russia’s Ministry of Energy.