National Academy of Engineering and Gulf Research Program's Colloquium Series on Offshore Energy

NAE-GRP Colloquium: Advancing Equity in the Transition to Clean Onshore and Offshore Energy

(UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Register Here

The United States federal government has developed a strategy for an energy transition with the goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions economy-wide by the year 2050, 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, and 30 Gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. Understanding the potential effects of this transition on communities, particularly on coastal communities and those which are historically under-resourced, will be critical to promote equitable energy provision. In the United States, the Justice40 initiative was launched through executive order, which aims to direct 40% of the benefits of federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities.  To ensure that these goals for equity and environmental justice are addressed throughout the energy transition, and specifically in offshore energy efforts, the complex technical, economic, and political frameworks should be better understood. These include facilitating ongoing engagement with environmental justice and community leaders, creating clean energy plans with a focus on eliminating energy poverty, and advancing technical solutions with disadvantaged communities as a central focus. During this colloquium, our panel of experts in community engagement, policy, and technology will discuss advancing both equity and deep decarbonizaton in the United States, highlighting opportunities and challenges in the energy sector as it aims to meet the nation’s clean energy goals.

Please join us for the National Academy of Engineering and Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences colloquium on September 28, 2022 from 3:30 – 5:00 ET focused on advancing equity in the transition to clean onshore and offshore energy in the United States.

Webinar Participants


  • Shalanda Baker, JD, LLM, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Department of Energy
  • Monique Harden, Assistant Director of Law and Policy, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Jason Beckfield, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

Moderator: Omar Isaac Asensio, PhD, NASEM New Voices, Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy

About the Panelists

The Honorable Shalanda H. Baker is the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy and Secretarial Advisor on Equity. Prior to her Senate confirmation, she served as the Nation’s first-ever Deputy Director for Energy Justice. Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, she was a Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. She has spent over a decade conducting research on the equity dimensions of the global transition away from fossil fuel energy to cleaner energy resources. She is the author of over a dozen articles, book chapters, and essays on renewable energy law, energy justice, energy policy, and renewable energy development. In 2016, she received a Fulbright-Garcia-Robles research fellowship to study climate change, energy policy, and indigenous rights in Mexico. She is the Co-Founder and former Co-Director of the Initiative for Energy Justice (, an organization committed to providing technical law and policy support to communities on the frontlines of climate change. Her book, Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Guide to the Energy Transition (Island Press 2021), argues that the technical terrain of energy policy should be the next domain to advance civil rights. She received her BS from the United States Air Force Academy and JD from Northeastern University School of Law. She obtained her LLM while serving as a William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

Monique Harden is the Assistant Director of Law and Policy and the Community Engagement Program Manager at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. The Center provides research, education, community and student engagement support, as well as worker training in environmental careers. Ms. Harden has more than 20 years of achievements in the practice of law that have helped predominantly African American communities win significant environmental justice victories in the Gulf Coast Region. Ms. Harden has authored papers and lectured on the right of people to live in a healthy environment and the duties of government to protect this right vis-à-vis the U.S. Constitution, international human rights laws, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disability Act, and environmental laws. She has spearheaded local, regional, and international coalitions in support of communities advocating for the human right to a healthy environment. She works to democratize policymaking on environmental matters by supporting community-based organizations to engage policymakers on reducing pollution that harms their health and warms our planet.

Dr. Jason Beckfield is the Robert G. Stone Jr. Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, where he is also the Associate Director of the Center for Population and Development Studies. He took his PhD. in Sociology in 2005 at Indiana University in Bloomington, and later taught at the University of Chicago before joining the Harvard faculty in 2007. His research and teaching are in the areas of social stratification, political sociology, population health, and climate change. Currently, he is investigating the sociology of energy transitions, with a focus on the petrochemical-rich region of the United States Gulf Coast.

Dr. Omar Isaac Asensio is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the intersection of big data and public policy, with applications to energy systems and consumer behavior, smart cities, and machine learning in transportation and electric mobility. He directs the Data Science and Policy Lab at Georgia Tech, where he collaborates with the private sector and city governments on data innovations in policy analysis and research evaluation. He is a faculty affiliate at the Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS), the Machine Learning Center, and the Strategic Energy Institute. Dr. Asensio’s research has been published in leading journals such as Nature Energy, Nature Sustainability, and PNAS. His work uses statistical and computational tools to advance our understanding of how large-scale civic data and experiments can be used to increase participation in civic processes, while addressing resource conservation and environmental sustainability.

Webinar Outline

The webinar will include opening remarks from the panelists, followed by the moderated discussion; there will be time reserved for audience questions.

The recording will be posted on our website as soon as it is available