Melgar named Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow

Melgar, an MIT alumna, will be in residence at CIS as a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow
September 8, 2016

The Center for International Studies at MIT announces today that Lourdes Melgar, Mexico’s former deputy secretary of energy for hydrocarbons, has been named a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow. Melgar will arrive to MIT in September 2016 and will be in residence at CIS for the 2016-2017 academic year.

A graduate from Mount Holyoke College, Melgar holds a MS and a PhD in political science from MIT.

Melgar played a key role in the design and implementation of Mexico’s historic energy reform. Her vision and leadership resulted in the inscription of key elements, including the electricity reform and the social component of the sustainability principle in the new regulatory framework. Her work has begun to transform Mexico’s energy sector into a modern and competitive environment aimed at enhancing energy security, developing regional value chains, and positioning Mexico as an energy hub. Mexico’s first oil contracts and transparent bidding process were designed under her leadership. Melgar has been a member of the board of Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s National Oil Company, and of Commision Federal de Electricidad, Mexico’s public utility company.

Previously, Melgar was undersecretary for electricity and held various diplomatic positions; she was a member of Mexico´s foreign service from 1997-2005.

In the academic realm, she was founding director of the Center for Sustainability and Business at EGADE Business School of the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey. She has been a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy of the University of Texas. She has authored articles on energy security, transboundary reservoirs, sustainable development, and the transition to a low carbon economy.

Melgar is a national researcher of the Mexican Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT); a member of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations and president of the Mexican Chapter of the International Women’s Forum. She was recognized as the 2015 Mujer de Retos, she has been awarded the Logro Energético Award and the Vasco de Quiroga Leadership Award both in 2012.

While at MIT, Melgar intends to write on Mexico’s energy reform and further research on women’s role in political and social transformation.

"It is an honor to welcome Lourdes back to MIT. She brings with her a prolific career of groundbreaking work in energy security and beyond. Her time with us will enrich the Center’s scholarship. We certainly hope she finds her time here equally rewarding." said Richard Samuels, director of the Center for International Studies and Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT.

A generous gift from Robert E. Wilhelm supports the Center's Wilhelm fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to individuals who have held senior positions in public life and is open, for example, to heads of non-profit agencies, senior officials at the State Department or other government agencies, including ambassadors, or senior officials from the UN or other multilateral agencies. Previous Wilhelm Fellows include: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (Sri Lanka); David Miliband, British Labour politician; Ambassador Barbara Bodine; Admiral William Fallon; and Yukio Okamoto, a former special advisor to the prime minister of Japan.

The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.