Dr. Catherine Mitchell is a professor of energy policy at Exeter University. She is currently working full-time on a four-year research project: Innovation and Governance for a Sustainable Economy, which explores the nature of sustainable change within the energy system, focusing on the complex inter-relationships between governance and innovation. This includes not just how institutions, rules, and incentives support, constrain, or channel outcomes, but also the politics behind how those institutions and their policies, rules, and incentives are put in place, and what this means for policy. Prior to this, she spent five years as principal investigator of an interdisciplinary research cluster on Energy Security in a Multi-Polar World, a project of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and ten years before that as a co-director of the U.K. Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
Starting in the late 1990s, Dr. Mitchell was active for nearly a decade in governmental working groups and advisory and representative roles. She was a member of the U.K. Government’s Energy Advisory Panel for two terms, as well as the renewable energy representative on the Embedded Generation Working Group for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of the Environment, Transport, and the Regions (DETR), and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem). From 2001 to 2002, she was seconded to the U.K. Government’s Cabinet Office to work on the Strategy Unit’s Energy Review, and from 2006 to 2007, she was seconded to the Ministry of Economic Development in New Zealand to be an international advisor on their Energy Review. While at Warwick, her group was the regulation and policy resource of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, a G8 initiative.
Active in energy issues since the early 1980s, Dr. Mitchell worked previously as an academic in the Centre for Management Under Regulation at the Warwick Business School, University of Warwick; the Energy Group of the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex; and the Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley. Prior to that, she worked as a journalist, covering oil and gas issues.
Dr. Mitchell has also advised numerous national and international companies, nongovernmental organizations, and institutions on various aspects of the transition to a sustainable energy system. She holds an undergraduate degree in history, a master’s degree in energy and environmental studies from the geography department of Boston University, and a doctorate in technology and innovation from the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex.