Weslynne Ashton, associate professor of environmental management and sustainability, was recently selected as a 2018–19 Jefferson Science Fellow.
Energy security refers to a nation’s or region’s ability to access adequate and affordable energy to meet the needs of its population. It involves matching demand with supply in the short and long terms; planning for natural, technical, or economic disruptions; and integrating social and environmental concerns in the development and distribution of energy options.
“In general, energy is one of the critical resources needed for a region to function successfully and grow its economy. For southeastern Europe, where my work will be focused during the fellowship, the energy security challenge relates to upgrading outdated infrastructure, improving energy efficiency, integrating cleaner (lower carbon) energy sources, and developing a regional energy market,” says Ashton. “Because of my background working on sustainability issues in small and medium enterprises, I will likely focus on improving energy efficiency, competitiveness, and sustainability in the industrial sector.”
During the fellowship Ashton will work in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia (E&E) in the Energy and Infrastructure Division, which promotes energy security in southeast Europe and the Black Sea region through the diversification of energy sources and the creation of larger, transparent regional markets.
She will be responsible for supporting design and management of energy security and/or natural resource programs in the E&E region and will represent the office in interagency and international forums. Her work may also focus on energy, sustainability, and competitiveness issues in the industrial sectors in partner countries.
The Jefferson Science Fellowship Program was established in 2003 as an initiative of the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the United States Secretary of State. The program is designed to further build capacity for science, technology, and engineering expertise within the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development. The 2018–19 fellows are scheduled to begin their one-year assignments in Washington, D.C., in August 2018.