New Director of GW’s Solar Institute Named

Clean energy leader Amit Ronen will direct the university’s solar energy research facility.

Amit Ronen
April 24, 2013

Amit Ronen, deputy chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has been named the new director of GW’s Solar Institute, the university announced at its Fifth Annual Solar Symposium Tuesday.

A recognized clean energy leader, Mr. Ronen will assume his post as director of the institute in May.

Ken Zweibel, solar photovoltaics expert and the institute’s director for the past five years, has announced his retirement. Mr. Zweibel has been instrumental in fostering the institute’s growth and success over the past five years, Peg Barratt, dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, said during the symposium.

As Sen. Cantwell’s top adviser on energy and natural resource issues, Mr. Ronen worked to accelerate the nation’s transition to a cleaner, more diversified and better distributed energy system. He brings to the Solar Institute a wide-ranging knowledge of government and extensive experience in energy and environmental policy strategy.

“We are so pleased to have Amit join the GW community in May and look forward to continuing our work on solar energy and finding ways to meet global energy needs and environmental challenges,”said Dr. Barratt, who has helped shepherd the Solar Institute since its establishment in fall 2008.

Mr. Ronen has worked as a policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and collaborated on high visibility projects with the U.S. Department of Transportation, focusing on intelligent transportation systems architecture and public-private partnerships.

He has a Master of Public Affairs in science, technology and environmental policy from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in science, technology and society from Pomona College.

The GW Solar Institute has contributed to the development of solar policy in various ways, Dr. Barratt said, including providing technical advice to federal agencies, advancing the conversation on solar investment vehicles, and delivering important research results on technical issues, including a published report on the history of energy incentives in America.

The GW Solar Symposium, “Solar Energy: Going Global,” featured panel discussions on the global outlook for solar power. Watch video footage at the GW Solar Institute website.