Letha Tawney is a Senior Associate in the World Resources Institute’s Climate and Energy Program. She leads the Two Degrees of Innovation platform.
Letha’s work focuses on the need to build a robust, dynamic innovation system for clean energy where great ideas can rapidly emerge and spread globally. This international ecosystem catalyzes significant improvements in the cost and performance of low carbon energy technology and enables a central role for innovators in the developing world. This work encompasses innovation beyond the lab - improvements throughout the life cycle of the technology and across the energy system it integrates with. It considers the policy drivers for innovation and barriers to the spread of solutions in these rapidly globalizing industries.
Prior to joining WRI, Letha worked on bioenergy with the UN Foundation’s International Bioenergy Initiative. This work encompassed sustainable land use, deforestation and forest degradation, bioenergy policy, sustainable agriculture and energy poverty issues. She followed the international climate negotiations closely, working with delegations to ensure sustainable biomass issues were addressed in concert with energy security, food security and poverty alleviation. She also supported the G8 +5’s Global Bioenergy Partnership’s work on sustainability. Letha has also done research on adaptation to climate change with Harvard University and has advised relief and development agencies on planning for and coping with climate change impacts in their work.
Letha holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor’s in Business from George Fox University.