A $10 million gift from Scott, C’94, W’94, and Wendy Kleinman has established the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, housed at PennDesign. The Center will advance energy productivity by reframing the relationship between research and practice in support of policy innovation.

Specifically, the Center will focus on overcoming persistent barriers to energy productivity in order to construct energy policy options that provide fairness for stakeholders, reliability for investors, and opportunity for innovators. It will provide a forum that brings together eminent scholars and multiple stakeholders in a collegial and productive environment that generates tangible progress on energy policy. At the same time, it will expand the engagement of faculty and students through distinguished guests, visiting fellows, lectures, courses, internships, and research support.

“As a nation, we do not have a clearly articulated energy policy that promotes economic growth, energy optimization, and technological development, all in the context of a sensible environmental backdrop,” said Scott Kleinman. “Energy policy is a critical topic at both the local and national level, and will only continue to grow in importance over time.

“Not only do the University’s extensive resources offer great potential for high-leverage collaboration, Penn also has the wherewithal to create the ideal institutional structure to realize that potential,” he said. “In addition, setting the Center at Penn will provide a forum for students―our future political, business, and technology leaders―to get educated on relevant energy topics and become involved in shaping the direction of research and debate.”

"Energy policy is a critical topic at both the local and national level, and will only continue to grow in importance over time."
―Scott Kleinman, C’94, W’94

The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy will be led by Faculty Director Mark Alan Hughes, PhD, Professor of Practice at PennDesign, founding Director of Sustainability and former Chief Policy Adviser to Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael A. Nutter, and architect of the City’s widely praised Greenworks sustainability plan.

“At Penn’s School of Design, we are engaged in actively linking research, practice, and policy in ways that will make a difference to the national agenda and to public and industry initiatives that will change the pattern of energy use across the country,” said Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean and Paley Professor at PennDesign.

The model that Dr. Hughes envisions for the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy deploys a relationship between research and practice that emphasizes “collective intelligence” in which research is one of several contributors to improving practice. “Instead of experts translating answers,” he said, “the Center will be a partner exploring questions that occupy the frontier between what we know and what we need to know in order to act. It is a model intended to improve research, practice, and policy outcomes.”

Dr. Hughes will be presenting some of his ideas on sustainable energy practices at Penn to You events, titled Sustainable Energy Policy: Impossible Dream or Absolute Imperative, in Chicago on October 7 and in Washington, DC, on October 16.