Director, James E. Rogers Energy Access Project

Jonathan Phillips

  • Jonathan Phillips
    Jonathan Phillips
    Director, Energy Access Project

Director, James E. Rogers Energy Access Project

Contact: 919-681-7188, jonathan.phillips@duke.edu

Phillips is the Director of the James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke University, with an appointment at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. His work focuses on policy, regulatory, and economic issues related to rural electrification, grid de-carbonization, off-grid energy systems, and energy for productivity.

Phillips was the senior advisor to the president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation during the Obama Administration, helping scale-up the agency’s climate finance capabilities and lead the implementation of strategic initiatives, including the agency’s $2.1 billion Power Africa portfolio.

Before that, Phillips led private sector engagement and programming with Power Africa at USAID, helping ramp-up the $300 million presidential initiative into one of the largest public-private development partnerships in the world.

From 2007-2014, he held a variety of roles in the U.S. Congress, most recently serving as the senior policy advisor to Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. He supported many notable legislative efforts, including serving as one of the lead authors of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that passed the House in 2009. He also served on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming as well as the House Natural Resources Committee.

Phillips was a business and economic development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Mongolia. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Recent work by Phillips includes:

My Work

New Frontiers in Climate Finance

New Frontiers in Climate Finance

    Investment decisions made in low- and middle-income countries leading up to 2030 will determine whether low-carbon pathways out of poverty and climate vulnerability are possible for millions, and whether the next global surge in emissions can be prevented. There...

Distributed Renewable Energy-Agriculture Modalities (DREAM)

Distributed Renewable Energy-Agriculture Modalities (DREAM)

The Distributed Renewable Energy-Agriculture Modalities (DREAM) project was launched to demonstrate the viability of solar mini-grids for delivering improved irrigation services, greater agricultural productivity and expanded rural electrification. The DREAM project...

Catalyzing Climate Finance for Low-Carbon Ag-Tech

Catalyzing Climate Finance for Low-Carbon Ag-Tech

    Despite minimal contributions to causing climate change, rural households working in the agriculture sector are disproportionately impacted by climate-related shocks and see it as one of the biggest risks to their livelihoods.Climate finance presents a critical...

Listen now! Balancing Competition & Subsidy: Mini-Grid Incentives Programs in Africa Webinar

Listen now! Balancing Competition & Subsidy: Mini-Grid Incentives Programs in Africa Webinar

What can we learn from countries trying to scale mini-grid deployment? In this webinar, hear early lessons from Africa in the latest report from the Energy Access Project at Duke, “Balancing Competition and Subsidy: Mini-grid Incentive Programs in Africa.” EAP’s Jonathan Phillips and Victoria Plutshack led the discussion with a host of experts in the field.

Lessons for Modernizing Energy Access Finance

Lessons for Modernizing Energy Access Finance

    A modern energy system requires modern energy finance. This on-going series explores the ways in which we can learn from how energy access has been financed in the past to build a better, more equitable future.Part One: Public Financing for Rural...

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