Fueling Research, Advocacy, and Community: Economic Internships at the Environmental Defense Fund

The climate crisis requires not only urgent action, underpinned by a robust framework of proven economic-driven solutions to effectively address its multifaceted challenges. Given the increasing urgency, we need economists at the forefront, conducting rigorous research and informing policy decisions. Recognizing this critical need, the Economics team at EDF is dedicated to nurturing economists who are eager to contribute to the climate fight. 

The Economics team at EDF hosts exceptional interns who make significant contributions to our work. Through internships, we aim to create lasting partnerships with talented individuals who will continue to make a positive impact in the field of economics.  

One notable past example is Dr. Christopher Holt, who focused his internship on addressing how wholesale electricity market design can facilitate the transition to a decarbonized energy system. His pre-doctoral fellow work was published in our Economics Discussion Paper Series in September 2020 and set a high precedent for future papers. Dr. Holt is still actively engaged in environmental economics and is working for the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law, a close collaborator of EDF. 

As we forge ahead, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment where emerging economists can flourish. This summer, we are thrilled to welcome our talented economic interns and contractors joining us to support our mission. 

Meet the Summer 2023 Economics interns below!


Anna Cheyette

Anna Cheyette, Economics and Policy Intern

Joining us from UC Berkeley’s Master of Public Policy program, Anna is passionate about energy and environmental policy. With a background in economics and environmental studies, her experience at the University of Chicago’s Energy and Environment Lab greatly enriches our team. Anna is primarily supporting our Economics Team’s work on methane emissions from oil and gas, advancing analytical tools, and contributing to federal and state-level advocacy efforts in North American oil and gas methane work. 


Xian Hu

Xian Hu, Contractor, Doctoral, Temp 

Xian, a PhD student in the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University and a visiting fellow at Harvard China Project, brings a wealth of expertise in environmental policies and global economic development. She has expertise in applying empirical approaches and developing general equilibrium models to evaluate the implications of China’s energy transition and global carbon price policies for various stakeholders. Together with EDF’s Doctoral Intern in Climate Finance, Xian is supporting EDF’s work on climate finance in China, including examining the role of both public and private sources of finance, with specific attention to China’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). 


Ella Obeng

Emmanuella (Ella) Obeng, Doctoral Intern, Climate Finance 

Ella is currently pursuing her PhD in finance at CU Boulder, specializing in the mobilization of finance for climate mitigation in developing countries, including the potential role of carbon markets. Collaborating closely with Xian Hu, Ella is assisting EDF in crafting a dialogue with external participants on climate finance and helping EDF to identify open research questions that would benefit from deeper investigation. 


Max Snyder

Max Snyder, Doctoral Economics Intern, Climate Resilience  

Max, currently pursuing a PhD in environmental economics at UC Berkeley ARE, is dedicated to exploring the potential of public policy in mitigating climate risk and promoting a clean energy transition. Drawing on his valuable expertise from his previous roles at the Energy Policy Institute and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Max is supporting EDF’s research on the Risk Rating 2.0, a recent reform to the United States’ National Flood Insurance Program. He is analyzing the effects of this reform on climate adaptation investments and access to flood insurance across diverse socioeconomic groups. 


Margerie Snider

Margerie Snider, Federal Climate Innovation Graduate Intern 

Margerie is a Master of Science student in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, specializing in environmental policy and justice. She brings a wealth of experience in data analysis and visualization from her previous role at the Department of Justice. Her current work with Detroit’s Office of Sustainability focuses on accelerating solar development in the city. At EDF, Margerie is supporting projects at the intersection of economics and climate innovation, including the development of a Climate Vulnerability Index. She conducts research to identify drivers of vulnerability across U.S. communities and analyzes the potential role of hydrogen in a clean and equitable energy transition. 


Helena Garcia

Helena Garcia, Doctoral Intern, Resilience 

Joining us from the Environment, Ecology, and Energy PhD Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Helena specializes in using machine learning methods to investigate the impact of consecutive flood events in North Carolina on economic stability and probabilities of migrating for households of different socioeconomic backgrounds. At EDF, she is helping to explore flood insurance penetration and differential claims treatment using National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) data. 


Brigitte Castaneda

Brigitte Castañeda, Contractor, Doctoral, Temp 

Brigitte, a Ph.D. student in Economics at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, has a strong background in sustainable finance, the energy transition and climate policies. She is currently examining the green labor market in developing countries and analyzing the effects of a carbon tax. Brigitte is supporting EDF’s Just Transition work from the developing country perspective. Her role involves understanding lessons learned and developing policy options to protect workers, communities, and maximize employment benefits for disadvantaged individuals during transitions towards an inclusive and just transition. 


Minwoo Hyun

Minwoo Hyun, Doctoral Intern, Just Transition 

Minwoo, a Ph.D. student in Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has a comprehensive background in chemical engineering, environmental policy, air pollution impacts, and power sector decarbonization. His current research explores the local fiscal conditions, labor reallocation costs of coal decline, crime and health impacts in coal-rich communities, and welfare consequences of pollution alerts. Minwoo supports EDF’s Just Transition work from the developed country perspective, focusing primarily on the United States, to analyze lessons learned from previous experiences of workers and communities during transitions. His goal is to identify policy options that promote an inclusive and just transition, maximizing employment benefits for disadvantaged workers. 


Shiv Goel

Shiv Goel, Project Management Intern 

Shiv, a sophomore at Cornell University studying Environment & Sustainability and Information Science, brings a strong interest in networks, organizational behavior, sustainable markets, and ocean conservation to his role at EDF. Shiv is helping to integrate best practices into our team’s work plans and optimize our process for the Econ Newsletter by conducting data analysis and collaborating closely with the communications team to provide actionable insights for improving engagement.

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