Victoria Clemons and Joe Aldy

Victoria Clemons (MIDP’18) meets her “36 Hours in Energy” mentor Joe Aldy (T’93, MEM’95), Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Adopting the “36 Hours” model developed by Sanford prof Tony Brown, this event organized by the Duke University Energy Initiative convened 42 students and alumni to explore the future of energy innovation.   


“36 Hours at Duke”  is an initiative first started by Sanford professor Tony Brown, that aims to bring together students and alumni for a weekend focused on a particular topic. The Duke Energy Initiative, spearheaded by Brian Murray, reaches across business, engineering, environment, law, policy, and the arts and sciences to educate tomorrow’s energy innovators, develop new solutions through research, and improve energy decisions by engaging business and government leaders. In Duke Energy’s 36 Hours at Duke program, twenty alumni and a like number of students were selected to come together from Friday evening to Sunday noon to learn from each other and have fun in the process.  Each alum was assigned a student partner and both participate in program activities that include events for the whole group, small group conversations and free time. 


MIDP fellow Victoria Clemons was selected to participate in this weekend’s events. 


“This weekend will probably go down as one of my most memorable moments at Duke.  During my time at MIDP, I have ventured into the analysis of energy policies (thanks to Professor Natalia Mirovitskaya)  in various developing countries with emphasis on the West African Region. For my Master’s Project, I am investigating how energy provision has been implemented in refugee camps (Goudoubo Refugee Camp, to be specific), to identify the barriers to inclusive energy planning, and explore policy options to improve energy access in a manner that reduces costs, is safe, healthy and inclusive, and also benefits host countries and communities.

To better understand the energy space, I have joined a myriad of energy clubs/initiative (The Duke Energy Initiative and The Global Energy Access Network (GLEAN). I applied to participate in the “36 Hours at Duke” some time ago and was accepted! I am the first to be selected to participate from MIDP! We had an MPP (JD candidate) from Sanford as well.

For me, this weekend was especially impactful because it allowed me engage with students from across six Duke schools and alums from across the country, it gave me an opportunity to build lifelong connections. My mentor for the weekend was an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Joe Aldy (T’93, MEM’95), who has an immense amount of experience in climate change policy and energy policy. My most memorable moment with him was walking in the Duke Gardens during our “unscheduled time” discussing what it’s like to navigate the complex, global energy system in efforts to create meaning energy policies and solutions. I listened to him passionately talk about his grandfather who served as “Navy bomber pilot in WWII.” As an Active Duty officer and international development policy student at Sanford, meeting someone with that kind of history is a rare opportunity.”


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