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COVID-19 Information and Guidance

BISF holds annual policy competition remotely

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Baker Institute Student Forum Undergraduate Public Policy Competition!

Originally scheduled on April 11 at Baker Hall, the event moved to a remote format this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The annual competition is an opportunity for Rice students to develop and present their solutions for significant policy problems, and to interact with experts and representatives from the corporate, academic, nonprofit and government sectors. This year’s participants addressed the global implications of U.S. energy policy, with prompts on environmental conservation, energy economics and energy poverty. 

In the interest of accommodating both finalists’ and judges’ situations, the BISF decided not to hold the conference in a live video setting. Finalists were instead asked to record their presentations, which were evaluated by a panel of three judges. This format presented new challenges for the finalists, who were required to create compelling and comprehensive presentations without the opportunity to respond to the judge’s questions and requests for clarification.

“This is my second year participating in the policy competition and although the remote format this year restricted presenter-judge interaction, I am thankful to policy competition director Andrew Wan and all the judges who helped make the event happen this year,” said Sree Yeluri ’21. Even though it was remote, the competition remained an engaging and creative way to explore a policy challenge. I enjoyed being able to draw from what I’ve learned in one of my classes, Asia and Energy, to craft my policy proposal for the competition.”


The judges for the 2020 competition were:

Thomas H. Meister
Consul General of Germany to Houston

Gavin Dillingham, Ph.D.
Program Director for Clean Energy Policy, Houston Advanced Research Center

Adrian Duhalt, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow in Mexico Energy Studies for the Center for the United States and Mexico and Center for Energy Studies, Baker Institute


Joe Barnes, the Bonner Means Baker Fellow, serves as the BISF faculty advisor. 


The 2020 winners are:

First place, $1,000 prize


Trisha Gupta ’23 and Lisa Lin ’23
“Development Finance Policy for Universal Electricity Access”


Watch the the team’s presentation:

Second place, $750 prize

    Varun Kukunoor ’22 and Serena Shedore ’22
“Renewables within Africa: An Analysis of the Power Africa Initiative”

Watch their presentation below:

Third place, $500 prize

  Sree Yeluri ’21
“Expansion to the Energy Resources Governance Initiative (ERGI):
Partnerships with Civil Society Organizations”

Watch her presentation below: