Campus & Community

Enel makes $5 million gift to Environmental Economics Program

3 min read

In recognition of the continued growth and influence exhibited by the Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University, Enel, a progressive Italian corporation involved in energy production worldwide, will make a gift of $5 million to establish The Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics. The gift was announced during a signing ceremony Tuesday (Feb. 6) at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Since its founding in 2000 by Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at the Kennedy School, the program has attracted leading scholars, students, and public leaders who focus their efforts on critical issues of environmental and natural resource economics and policy.

“Enel’s farsighted generosity recognizes the key contributions of the program’s faculty fellows from across the University, and will make permanent the work and mission of the program,” said Stavins. “The Enel Endowment will allow us to extend our research and outreach efforts on critical public policy challenges, including global climate change, the use of market-based instruments for pollution control, new methods of valuing risk reduction, the relationship between globalization and the environment, the role of environmental considerations in business decision making, and the intersection of economic development and environmental protection.”

Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti said: “This gift to Harvard is testament to Enel’s commitment to work hard to leave a better world for the coming generations. The Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics is just one expression of our mission to support excellence in research and innovation as part of our multibillion-dollar plan to attain higher environmental and efficiency standards and development of renewable sources across the globe.”

The $5 million endowment will support research, teaching, and outreach, as well as help build organizational capacity of the program. Plans include a seminar series, conferences, lectures, discussion papers, an intellectual venture capital fund, and support for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows.

“This is a crucial moment for the University and the world as environmental economics issues have taken on such a vital and visible role internationally. Enel’s visionary support will expand and transform the superb work done by Professor Stavins and others from across the University,” said David T. Ellwood, dean of the Kennedy School.

Ellwood also announced that in recognition of the program’s accomplishments and its University-wide status, it will be renamed the Harvard Environmental Economics Program. The program will draw upon the expertise of and facilitate collaboration among 20 faculty fellows from six schools at the University: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Business School, the Harvard Law School, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Graduate School of Design, and the Kennedy School of Government.

“Building intellectual bridges among Harvard’s faculties is critical for doing the best possible research and ensuring the impact of our work on as many constituencies as possible around the world. I am delighted with Enel’s vision and commitment, and grateful that this wonderful gift helps Harvard University continue to lead the way in the field of environmental economics,” said Harvard Business School Dean Jay Light.

For more information on Enel’s environmental plan, go to