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Amy Myers Jaffe leaves Rice for UC Davis job

By Nicole Zhao     9/27/12 7:00pm


Amy Myers Jaffe, director of the Baker Institute Energy Forum and the Wallace S. Wilson fellow in energy studies, will leave her position at Rice University on Oct. 5 to be executive director of energy and sustainability at the University of California at Davis, according to Jaffe. Jaffe said she will also have a joint appointment to the Graduate School of Business and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. 

According to Baker Institute Founding Director Edward Djerejian, Jaffe will be replaced by Deputy Director of the Energy Forum Kenneth Medlock III, who is also the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker fellow in energy and resource economics. 

Jaffe said UC Davis' focus on energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy and transportation policy is what draws her to the university. 

"UC Davis is well-known for its influential role in advising the state of California on transportation and climate policy, and the campus' emphasis on sustainability matches closely with the courses that I have enjoyed teaching at Rice - POST 401: Energy Policy and POST 411: Integrated Solutions to Sustainable Development," Jaffe said. 

According to Jaffe, another major attraction of UC Davis for her is being able to work on a campus with the largest planned net-zero-energy community in the country, West Village. 

"It is a mixed-use community that will use a mix of energy-efficiency technologies and renewable energy, including a biodigester, to make energy from campus waste," Jaffe said. "My office will literally be on the main square of the West Village, and that is going to be a very exciting atmosphere to work in."

Djerejian said Jaffe helped to establish the energy program and the Energy Forum at the Baker Institute. Jaffe has been working at the Baker Institute since 1996, three years after its founding. 

"[Jaffe] did an outstanding job and really built the energy program from those early years," Djerejian said. "This is a new opportunity for her because she's been very interested in the whole area of transportation fuels and energy-efficient alternative energy solutions to transportation issues, such as battery-driven cars. They've established a program there that fits into her substantive interest. It's a good fit for her."

According to the Baker Institute Energy Forum website, the Energy Forum is a policy program that promotes discussion and research on energy-related challenges. 

"The mission of the Energy Forum is to promote the development of informed and realistic public policy choices in the energy area by educating policymakers and the public about important trends that shape the nature of global energy markets and influence the quantity and security of vital supplies needed to fuel world economic growth and prosperity," the website states. 

Jaffe said she treasures her time at Rice. 

"Rice has an incredibly creative, highly motivated student body, and I have loved to have the opportunity to work on energy research and sustainability projects with Rice undergraduates," Jaffe said. "My most enjoyable time at Rice has been spent traveling with Rice students as part of the summer program that goes with the course Integrated Solutions to Sustainable Development." 

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