The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India team (EPIC-India) now has Sidhartha Vermani as the Institute’s new Executive Director. Sidhartha’s appointment coincides with the steady growth of EPIC-India’s research projects and partnerships with the government. Former Executive Director Ken Lee will now work closely with EPIC leadership to expand the global footprint of the Air Quality Life Index.

“I would like to thank Ken for his truly terrific past three years of service at EPIC India and I am confident that with Sidhartha’s leadership, EPIC India will continue breaking new ground and achieving new heights”, says Michael Greenstone the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).

Sidhartha brings an impressive 23 years of experience working at the intersection of the government, private, non-profit, and academic sectors. Most recently, as a founding member of Smart Power India (SPI), a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation in India, he led private sector engagements and investments in the solar micro-grid market and played a pivotal role in establishing SPI’s reputation, leadership, and impact.

Sidhartha’s experience of working on energy, environment, and economic development projects runs even deeper. Before SPI, he successfully led an India Safe Water initiative at PATH, a global health institution funded by the Gates Foundation. He also headed Asian marketing for d.light, an award-winning social enterprise targeting basic energy solutions for rural households.

“I believe that with the intellectual calibre available to EPIC, we have an unparalleled ability to make an impact in India and create lasting change. So, it’s inspiring to be a part of this team,” says Sidhartha who started at EPIC India in the first week of December. “I am thrilled to work with a bunch of highly motivated individuals who are committed to the cause of providing a healthier and cleaner environment for India.”

Vermani joins EPIC India as Lee takes on the responsibility of taking EPIC’s new tool called Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) to the global audience. Lee says,” It has been a tremendous pleasure to meet and work with so many driven and talented individuals at EPIC India, the UChicago Center in Delhi, and our partners across India. I am grateful for the experience. Now, I look forward to building upon our work in India and leading the expansion of the exciting Air Quality Life Index. Air pollution poses the greatest threat to human health, and I believe there is great value in raising awareness of this issue in other parts of the world.”