Alekhya Mallavarapu is a Development Intern at The Solar Foundation. She provides support for ongoing development and resource generation activities and assists with event-related activities. She earned a B.A. in Global Studies and Economics during her time at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her strong interest in global issues and affairs led her to an internship at the Citizen Diplomacy Programs at International House in Charlotte, North Carolina working with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. She holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, with a specialization in International Affairs and Development.

Through her program and experiences abroad, Alekhya noticed the pressing need to address the intersection of climate change and development. In her undergraduate years, she was introduced to solar energy and its rural applications. Fascinated by what she read, she dived deeper and explored how solar applications could empower women in rural communities in developing countries. Embracing this concept, she has also reviewed how solar energy can address India’s growing electricity demands.

Alekhya Says: “My interest in solar energy stems from my passion in addressing climate change through sustainable development. Through my summer trips visiting family in India, I came to realize there was a need to reconsider development through a climate change lens, as the most vulnerable populations felt the brunt of climate impacts. With the introduction to solar in my undergraduate days, I became passionate about how this clean energy source can power global communities and lessen the impact on the environment. The ability solar has to empower marginalized communities and women also resonated with me, as I always intend to consider opportunities for the economic and social mobility of women. I am excited to be able to intern at The Solar Foundation and further expand upon my knowledge of this abundant energy source and how I can advocate for it in a domestic and global context.”