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Michael Davidson

Assistant Professor

Michael Davidson’s research focuses on the engineering implications and institutional conflicts inherent in deploying renewable energy at scale. He is particularly interested in systems within emerging electricity markets, including China and India, as well as the western U.S. 

He is an assistant professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of the Jacobs School of Engineering. 

Davidson was previously the U.S.-China Climate Policy Coordinator for the environmental nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). He is a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow at the National Committee of U.S.-China Relations from 2021 until 2023. Davidson is also a former Fulbright Scholar and has received fellowships from the MIT Energy Initiative and Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability. 

Prior to joining UC San Diego, Davidson was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program. He received his Ph.D. in engineering systems at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, where he was a researcher with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and a member of the Tsinghua-MIT China Energy and Climate Project. He is also a fellow with the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy, hosted at Johns Hopkins SAIS. He also holds an S.M. in Technology and Policy from MIT.

For more information, please visit Michael Davidson’s personal site

Education and CV

Ph.D., Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018
M.S., Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014
B.S., Mathematics and Physics, Case Western Reserve University, 2008
B.A., Japanese Studies, Case Western Reserve University, 2008

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