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Edward Cunningham is an Assistant Professor in Boston University’s Department of Geography and Environment and the Director of the Harvard Kennedy School Asia Energy and Sustainability Initiative.  He is also a research affiliate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) Industrial Performance Center and serves as a consultant to private and publicly listed companies, with a particular focus on the energy and financial sectors.  His clients range from startups in energy storage and wind power to established majors in coal gasification and unconventional oil and gas exploration. Prof. Cunningham received a B.S. from Georgetown University, an A.M. from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. He was selected as a Fulbright Fellow to China, during which time he conducted his doctoral fieldwork as a visiting fellow at Tsinghua University. He is fluent in Mandarin and Italian, and focuses his academic work on energy markets, energy policy, and the political economy of development.

Prof. Cunningham served as the program officer of the China Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, which has trained over 1,000 senior government officials in China since 1999.  He worked in Beijing, studied at Peking University, and speaks regularly at industry and academic conferences on issues relating to energy investment, industrial policy, competitiveness, and governance. While at M.I.T., he served as a core team member of two major industry studies. The first project, a five-year “Globalization Study” of international competitiveness and corporate strategy, examined over 500 leading companies and led to the publication How We Compete (Doubleday, 2005).  The second project, a three-year study of the global coal market, leading energy technologies, and the political economy of energy investment, resulted in the report The Future of Coal (M.I.T., 2007).  His work has also appeared in major media such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Economist.

Prof. Cunningham is the author or a contributing author of:

• “China’s Energy Governance: Perception and Reality”, Audits of Conventional Wisdom Series (M.I.T. Center for International Studies, 2007)

• “China and East Asian Energy: Prospects and Issues”, Austr-Japan Research Centre, 2008

• “Why Pollute? Explaining the Environmental Performance of Chinese Power Plants”, China Economic Quarterly (September 2008)

• “Greener Plants, Grayer Skies? A Report from the Front Lines of China's Energy Sector”, Energy Policy vol. 37:5 (May 2009)

• “Fueling the Miracle: China's Energy Governance and Reform”, in Fewsmith (ed.) China Today, China Tomorrow: Domestic Politics, Economy, and Society, Rowman & Littlefield, (August 2010)

• “The Power of Incrementalism: Technological and Policy Change in China’s Energy Market”, in Barry Naughton (ed.) The Political Economy of China's Technology and Innovation Policies, (forthcoming)

• He is currently completing a book on China’s energy markets and energy governance during the modern reform period.




Edward Cunningham

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geography & Environment, Boston University

Director, Asia Energy & Sustainability Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School