Janaki R.R. Alavalapati of Blacksburg, Va., professor and head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, has been named a 2011 Senior Fellow in the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas program of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

As a Senior Fellow, Alavalapati will promote the Americas program, a regional partnership announced by President Barack Obama at the April 2009 Summit of the Americas, which will address issues including clean energy, sustainable landscapes, and climate-change adaptations. With assistance from U.S. embassies, Fellows visit Western Hemisphere countries to share best practices and expertise in research and development.

“You are now part of this elite cadre of experts that will serve as short-term consultants to governments in the region on everything from policy to program design,” said Kevin Sullivan, director of the Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination at the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, in a letter to Alavalapati.

Alavalapati’s research focuses on exploring market solutions to promote sustainable use and management of forests and environment at local, national, and international levels. As a Jefferson Science Fellow in 2007-2008, he served as a senior advisor for international energy affairs for the State Department.

“I’m honored and excited to be invited to help our partner countries address their energy and environmental challenges,” Alavalapati said. “I hope to draw upon my economics and policy background and sustainable forestry experience in advancing the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas program.”

“It is not unexpected that Dr. Alavalapati would be tapped for this role to leverage his tremendous expertise in economics and policy,” said Paul Winistorfer, dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment. “We are certainly very proud of his involvement at this level.”

In the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, Alavalapati will serve as a resource and work with representatives from government and nongovernment agencies and academia in countries seeking assistance. As a Senior Fellow, he will also work in an outreach capacity and participate in interviews by the media. His one-year appointment began Sept. 1.

Alavalapati received a doctorate in forest resource economics and a master of science in rural sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada, a master of science in forestry from the State Forest Service College in India, and a master of science in botany and a bachelor of science in biological science from Sri Venkateswara University in India.

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