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Lily Odarno
CATF Expert

Lily Odarno

Director, Energy and Climate Innovation, Africa


Lily Odarno is the Director of CATF’s Energy and Climate Innovation Program, Africa. She leads CATF’s effort to address the dual need of expanding affordable energy in developing economies and building a global decarbonized energy system. Her work focuses on development-centric energy transition pathways, utility markets, and technology innovation for low-carbon energy development in Africa.

Lily joins CATF from the World Resources Institute where she led the establishment of the Institute’s Energy Access Initiative in East Africa. She later led policy engagement and the uptake of data and analytic tools for integrated energy planning, in partnership with government energy agencies, ministries, private and civil society organizations across the region. Prior to that, Lily worked with the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy and the UNEP DTU Partnership, where she conducted research in West Africa under the former Clean Energy Development Program.

Having lived, studied, and worked on three continents, Lily deeply appreciates the uniqueness of energy challenges across geographies and the all-important role of local context in developing energy systems that are meaningful for people, the economy, and the environment. She has written extensively on topics at the intersection of energy and development in Africa. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Climate Policy Journal.

Lily holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, an MSc (Eng.) in Environmental Management from the Aalborg University in Denmark, and a PhD in Energy and Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware.