Meet Tomas! He’s a policy analyst on EFI’s Projects Team who loves taking care of his many house plants, baking sourdough, and exploring the city.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
The first thing I ever wanted to be was a crossing guard. For my third birthday, I got a stop sign which I used for practice. I just liked the idea of being present in my community and helping people in a small way. Later on, I wanted to be everything from an actor to an artist to a marketing professional. I love being creative and it wasn’t until later that in engineering school, I realized you can combine math and science with social problems, which led me to policy. (*Tomas sadly no longer has his stop sign.)
What was your most rewarding experience prior to working at EFI?
Before EFI, I was at MIT as a student in the technology and policy program. I worked on the Roosevelt Project, a research initiative funded and led by Secretary Moniz that was focused on the equitable energy transition for the United States. What does decarbonization look like that does not leave frontline communities behind? As a part of that, I got to interact with some really incredible researchers from MIT and Harvard. I learned a lot about different dimensions of the climate crisis that I hadn’t really thought about before.
What’s the best thing about working at EFI?
Being a part of the conversation is really rewarding. I’ve been really active in various channels of climate advocacy and policy. I’ve briefed on the Hill quite a few times for carbon pricing. Being a part of the policy dialogue rather than just an advocate is exciting. You get to solve and address problems for people who are making the decisions.
What are you proudest of since working at EFI?
I’ve been able to coordinate with various union members and get their perspective on projects EFI is working on as part of our Labor Energy Partnership. Through that, I’ve been able to understand what labor’s major concerns are and how they see themselves as part of the solution. It’s been very gratifying to bring in that important perspective to the table.
What gives you hope for the future?
I don’t think hope is something that can be given to you. I think it’s something that is an active choice and more a product of your actions rather than a feeling you have. Choosing to engage in these problems and recognize their difficulty, especially in terms of how we reconcile questions of social equity and environmental justice with this huge challenge of decarbonization. It’s very hard to be hopeful about that, but I am hopeful through showing up to work every day.
What is your favorite song at the moment?
For All You Give by The Paper Kites
And also, Lana Del Rey’s new album Chemtrails Over the Country Club
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