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Robyn Meeks to join Harvard Business School as Business in Global Society visiting fellow

The assistant professor will study climate resilience in developing countries while at Harvard for the 2023-24 academic year.

Robyn Meeks, assistant professor of public policy and Duke Center for International Development faculty affiliate, will join Harvard Business School’s Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society (BiGS) as one of five visiting fellows conducting research projects related to climate.

With 20 years of experience researching water and energy technologies, Meeks plans to examine how the resilience of an electrification technology—specifically, mini grids—can be augmented in rural, remote communities in developing countries, which are disproportionately affected by climate change. Her project in Nepal brings together technology, government, and electric utilities to determine how rural, isolated communities—and their citizens and businesses—can increase the resiliency of their economies as extreme weather events become more common.

Slated to arrive on campus in July, the institute’s 2023 fellows will collaborate with faculty and researchers across multiple schools, initiatives, and units within Harvard. They will temporarily relocate to HBS from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Oxford University, the University of Michigan, the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University.

“We are delighted to welcome our second cohort of BiGS Visiting Fellows to elevate the global dialogue around how business can help mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change,” says HBS Professor Debora Spar, who leads the institute. “From Kathmandu to London to Atlanta, these scholars are working on projects with a real potential to help prevent further climate change or reduce deadly consequences.”

Each year, the institute invites leading scholars to come to Harvard Business School to further their research related to issues of business and society, including climate change and inequality.

“I’m excited that BiGS is committed to bringing to campus five distinguished scholars who are driving innovative research and impact, and I’m confident that they will advance the work being done at Harvard,” notes HBS Professor Mike Toffel, who leads the HBS Business & Environment Initiative. “It’s especially timely this year, given the urgent need for system level changes that are necessary to address climate change.”