The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2017, which is Women’s History Month.
As part of the series we interviewed Shalini Gupta, Executive Director at Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more!
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?
Shalini Gupta: I am the co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED). We provide energy and climate resiliency research and training to communities on the frontlines (Indigenous, low income, and communities of color).
How did you get into this work?
Shalini Gupta: I have been involved with energy issues for the past 20 years, through my education and graduate work, and got deeper into energy research through my time at Argonne National Labs in Illinois and at the Kiel Institute for World Economics in Germany. When I moved back to Minnesota I worked at various nonprofits in energy planning and policy, where I saw the gap that existed regionally in the Midwest around who was making environmental and energy policy and who was being effected (largely Indigenous, low income and communities of color). I decided to commit my research work and support toward the goal of ensuring that those most impacted by energy infrastructure and climate change have the tools and analysis needed to effectively advocate on their own behalf.
What is a typical day like for you?
Shalini Gupta: Checking in with other staff, checking in with partner organizations around the country we are working with, focusing on the research projects and training modules in creation.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
Shalini Gupta: The best part is being able to do innovative thinking on how to integrate energy and climate policies with racial and economic justice; as well as the amazing community organizations we work with. The worst part is seeing the great need that exists and the gaps in how far we have to go in addressing the disproportionate impact our energy infrastructure has on Indigenous, low income and communities of color in Minnesota and around the country.
What about your job inspires you?
Shalini Gupta: Frontline community members utilizing our research and training work, toward affecting more just energy and environmental planning and policy change in their states/communities.
Shalini Gupta is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED). Her work is focused on forging solutions to our environmental crises that are grounded in economic and social history. Shalini has worked with a range of organizations from local grassroots groups to international organizations engaging in the promotion of sound environmental policy and environmental justice. She was a governor appointee to the Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Board, with prior positions at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and as the senior energy associate at the IWLA Midwest office. She currently is on the leadership bodies of the national Climate Justice Alliance and the Midwest Environmental Justice Network, working to promote equitable and sustainable policies at the community level and across the country. Shalini is a former Bush Leadership Fellow, holds a B.S. in the geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago and a Masters degree in environmental management from Yale University. She loves spending time with her two boys, going for walks, and cooking.
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MN Women in #Energy: Shalini Gupta
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mncerts</a> is highlighting 18 women leading MN's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CleanEnergy?src=hash">#CleanEnergy</a> industry! <a href="https://t.co/N6dQ6hf8vu">https://t.co/N6dQ6hf8vu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/womensday?src=hash">#womensday</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IWD2017?src=hash">#IWD2017</a> <a href="https://t.co/sfwkGv8MK6">pic.twitter.com/sfwkGv8MK6</a></p>— CERTs (MNCERTs) March 2, 2017
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The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries during Women’s History Month.