Our Team


Founded in 2015 and based at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Becker Friedman Institute, the Energy and Environment Lab studies and tests programs and policies that protect and improve access to clean air, water, energy, and other environmental resources.  

The Lab is led by Pritzker Director Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. Professor Greenstone has been an innovator in spearheading randomized controlled trials for environmental evaluation and has worked with governments around the world to identify environmental problems and devise and test solutions.  

Lab projects are managed by a leadership team with doctorate degrees and years of experience in randomized evaluations and energy and environmental policy: Executive Director Olga Rostapshova, Scientific Director Thomas Covert, and Postdoctoral Research Fellows Jesse Buchsbaum and Rajat Kochhar.  

Our team of principal investigators, data analysts, research managers, and operations personnel work collaboratively to conduct rigorous research focusing on innovative techniques for testing or implementing policies such as:  

  • Predicting Pollution with Machine Learning 

  • Monitoring Violations with Remote Sensing Technology 

  • Evaluating Incentives with Randomized Control Trials 

We have also embedded research staff within seven partner agencies, who have designed and implemented research projects that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, strengthened agencies’ technical capacity, and worked to scale proven approaches. 

Affiliate Institutions 

In addition to our team of researchers employed at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, we also work with principal investigators across institutions.  

  • University of Chicago 

  • Booth School of Business 

  • Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics 

  • Georgia Institute of Technology 

  • Harvard University 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

  • University of California – San Diego  

  • University of California – Santa Barbara  

  • University of Warwick 

For a complete list of our staff members and affiliate researchers, see our staff page. If you are interested in joining the team, see our careers page for current openings.