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IEEFA concludes first summer fellowship, applauds Environmental Fellow Cara Clase

August 23, 2019
Sandy Buchanan

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis participated for the first time this summer in the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability’s (SEAS) Environmental Fellows Program. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with SEAS fellow Cara Clase at our Cleveland headquarters.

The Environmental Fellows Program is a partnership between the university and the Environmental Grantmakers Association.  Founded by Dr. Dorceta Taylor, the program has sponsored 98 fellows in 20 states over the past four years, and actively supports its alumni network, providing opportunities for professional development in a variety of fields.

The fellows, who are graduate students from historically underrepresented groups across the U.S., are chosen through a competitive application process.  Each fellowship is supported by a philanthropic organization for placement at a nonprofit organization, foundation or government agency.

The fellowship at IEEFA was made possible by the generous support of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

Cara Clase is a Ph.D. student in Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware. Her undergraduate and master’s degrees in economics, along with her strong analytical skills and interest in addressing issues of energy poverty, made her a terrific match for IEEFA.

Over the 12-week fellowship, Cara dived into a variety of projects: undertaking a quantitative analysis of electricity bills in Ohio; developing extensive lists of financial analysts who cover the oil and gas industry; compiling information on the 100+ globally significant financial institutions that are divesting from coal; and providing editorial support for IEEFA’s work on the massive debt problems facing Puerto Rico’s electricity system.

Alongside several other current SEAS fellows and program alumni, Cara joined 370 participants from around the world at IEEFA’s Energy Finance 2019 conference held at Columbia Law School in June (Tiffany Taulton, a fellowship alumna, shared her experiences from the conference in this LinkedIn blog post.)

Cara Clase - Environmental Fellow

Environmental Fellow Cara Clase

Cara said she found the conference panel on the campaign to reform Puerto Rico’s electric utility especially inspiring, and she closely followed the remarkable political events that unfolded  on the island in July, as hundreds of thousands of protesters marched against government corruption eventually forcing Governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign.

Over the summer, Cara also had a chance to explore her interests in developing public policy solutions to energy poverty and homelessness by meeting leaders who are addressing these issues in Cleveland – in addition, she enjoyed visiting our lakefront parks, catching her first fish and trying out some of the great restaurants in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood!

Everyone at IEEFA thanks Cara for the many contributions she made to our work this summer, and we wish her all the best as she heads back to the University of Delaware for the fall semester.

Sandy Buchanan is IEEFA’s executive director.


Sandy Buchanan

Sandy Buchanan is IEEFA’s Chief Executive Officer, with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the organization.

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