Longevity Partners appoints two department heads to build and train workforce in push toward U.S. decarbonization | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
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Longevity Partners, one of the world's fastest-growing ESG advisory businesses, just announced the appointment of two new department heads in the U.S. to support the firm's rapid expansion stateside. Dr. Molly Polk is now Head of ESG Strategy USA and Dr. Varun Rai is now Head of Net Zero Carbon USA. Since opening its U.S. headquarters in Austin just over a year ago, Longevity's U.S. workforce has more than tripled with the goal of growing to 50 people by 2023.


Varun Rai is the Walt and Elspeth Rostow Professor and the associate dean for research at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, where he also holds a joint appointment in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering. Until recently, he was the director of the Energy Institute at UT Austin. He holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

Rai will oversee the execution of U.S. energy efficiency and net zero carbon projects for the company and guide the net-zero carbon business unit strategy. His interdisciplinary research at the intersection of energy systems, complex systems, decision science and public policy is focused on developing solutions for a sustainable and resilient energy system. He was a Global Economic Fellow in 2009. During 2013-2015 he was a Commissioner for the vertically integrated electric utility Austin Energy. In 2016 the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) awarded him the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize, which "was established to honor persons who, at under the age of 40, have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy analysis and management."

"I am elated to have the opportunity to apply my expertise toward energy efficiency and net-zero carbon solutions at Longevity and be part of a team on the cutting edge of the sustainability journey in the U.S.," said Rai, Longevity Partners Head of Net Zero Carbon. "The time to transition is now and I look forward to rapid acceleration of services in pursuit of net zero."