Penn's Kleinman Center for Energy Policy has received a $30 million anonymous gift that will allow the Center to hire new faculty who specialize in energy policy, as well as supporting its continued programming.
“Our alumni are profoundly invested in the future of the University, and we have seen the depth of their generosity these past few weeks,” Frederick Steiner, dean of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, told Penn Today. “This new gift to the Kleinman Center ensures its place among the nation’s premier energy policy research centers."
The Kleinman Center was built in 2014 after a $10 million gift from 1994 College and Wharton graduate Scott Kleinman and his wife Wendy Kleinman. The Center currently supports energy policy research on topics ranging from carbon taxes to aviation. It hosts energy-related courses, a certificate program for graduate students, and internship opportunities and fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students. The Center also brings leading scholars and industry experts for public lectures and weeklong residencies.
The Center’s signature event is the annual Carnot Prize, which recognizes distinguished contributions to energy policy. India’s Minister for Coal and Railways Piyush Goyal was the 2018 award recipient for his work helping India to lead the world’s largest renewable energy expansion program, as well as his role in bringing electricity to nearly 18,000 villages.
“Penn’s founder, Ben Franklin, discovered electricity, invented the lightning rod, and organized fire insurance, thereby integrating impact across science, technology, and policy,” Mark Alan Hughes, founding faculty director of the Kleinman Center told Penn Today. “We like to say that the Center ‘owns’ Ben like no one else at Penn. He was the original energy scholar. This spectacular new gift will enable the Kleinman Center to carry forward that legacy of innovative excellence.”
The donation to the Kleinman Center comes shortly after the School of Arts and Sciences recently received a $50 million gift from 1950 College graduate Roy Vagelos and his wife Diana Vagelos for the construction of a new energy research building, which will be located on 32nd and Walnut streets. In 2017, Penn President Amy Gutmann announced Drive Energy Solutions, energy sustainability projects, as one of the top priorities for the University's Power of Penn Campaign.