I am a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University (NYU). I recently completed my PhD from Cornell University. My research examines how institutions are changing and resisting demands for change in the face of increasing environmental uncertainties. Specifically, I examine how public, private, and community institutions harness the power of information and evidence to produce public goods from private actors.
My work is firmly interdisciplinary and focuses instead on a variety of policy models. I have extensive training and practical experience in economics and policy. I call the following research traditions home: Ecological/heterodox economics, Political Geography and Science and Technology Studies (STS).
To take economic ideas seriously in environmental governance requires first identifying the assumptions that inform economic models and why the assumptions matter from an environmental perspective. In my research, I develop a pragmatic approach but not acritical approach to market-based policy instruments and technological change. By tracing how ideas/knowledge travel from academia/reports/conferences to implementable policies, I focus my work on coordination challenges in expanding policy learning and effectiveness, and how these challenges are resolved in messy and provisional ways.
Before starting my Ph.D. in Cornell University, I worked as an Economist in Centennial Asia Advisors, Singapore and with the Green Indian State Trust, New Delhi. At CAA, I worked with Mr. Manu Bhaskaran to provide long-term economic and political analysis for South and South East Asian countries. 2008-2011 was a period of great global uncertainty; our analysis on Asian economic prospects resulted in an edited book volume with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) titled A Resilient Asia Amidst Global Financial Crisis.
At GIST, I worked with Mr. Pavan Sukhdev and his team on a project with the UN Environment Program initiative The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). This was my first taste of applying economic ideas such as valuation and green accounting toward sustainability. Together with the GIST team, I collated over 110 case studies of using economic ideas in managing ecosystems. These continue to be used as proof-of-concept in bringing economics to address sustainability challenges.
I have also worked in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), with India’s premier economic think tank – National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, and with Singapore’s Economic Development Board.
Methodologically, I adhere to a mixed research methods. In my dissertation, I combine semi-structured interviews, ethnography, and econometric analysis to study institutional changes in US agricultural policies.
My work is not geographically specific but connects economic policy innovations unfolding across the world. Much of my current work is on US agriculture and environmental policies. I have also worked on and written about policy innovations in Indonesia.