Gabriel Chan

Assistant Professor
climate change; energy and environment; science and technology; sustainable development

Gabe Chan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) area. Gabe's research examines policies to stimulate innovation in energy technologies and mitigate global climate change in the United States, China, and internationally. Gabe's research blends economic methods and theory with a broader set of social science and technical knowledge. Recent research has been focused on several lines of inquiry.

First, Gabe's work has examined the effectiveness and limitations of the U.S. publicly funded energy research and development (R&D) system. Here, Gabe has studied methods for evaluating the benefits of energy R&D portfolios to improve decision making under the implementation constraints of public R&D funding agencies. Gabe has also studied licensing agreements for patents discovered in publicly funded energy research laboratories, proposing a new approach to the quantitative analysis of patent data based on content analysis.

Second, Gabe has studied the wind energy sector in China. In this line of inquiry, Gabe has studied how the world's largest international carbon offset system, the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, has played out in the Chinese wind sector. Several projects in this line of research have provided new insight into the Chinese wind sector, now the world's largest, and the environmental effectiveness of carbon offset programs.

Finally, Gabe conducts research examining how innovation systems operating transnationally can be better oriented towards achieving the goals of sustainable development. In this line of research, Gabe has contributed to several projects seeking to improve understanding of the role of transnational actors, innovation mechanisms, and socio-technical characteristics in delivering the fruits of innovation in the context of developing countries. New research in this line of inquiry will explore forms of international cooperation around energy R&D as part of the climate mitigation regime.

Gabe received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2015 and Bachelor's Degrees in Political Science and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in 2009. Gabe is originally from San Francisco, California and had lived in Boston, Massachusetts for ten years before moving to the Twin Cities.

In The Media

Humphrey School climate change expert Gabe Chan is quoted in this article, which says Minnesota will likely be a leader on clean energy even if the Trump administration rolls back climate change efforts nationwide.

December 16, 2016

This opinion column co-authored by STEP assistant professor Gabriel Chan proposes a comprehensive plan to “fix the National Laboratories.” The column is based on Chan’s research that highlights worrying trends in lab performance related to energy innovation.  

National Interest
October 25, 2016