Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Kathryn Chelminski

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Areas of Interest: Renewable energy policy, climate finance, IR, development aid, political economy, climate change policy, just transitions and environmental justice


Kathryn Chelminski is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Brown University Watson Institute Climate Solutions Lab. Kathryn received her PhD in International Relations/Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Her research focuses on the interaction of international institutions and domestic political economy in the realm of clean energy and climate governance, the effectiveness of global environmental governance, and just transitions in the Global South and North America.

Kathryn previously held postdoctoral fellowship affiliations with the University of Toronto Environmental Governance Lab and Northwestern University Department of Political Science, in addition to predoctoral research fellowships with the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center and the University of Cambridge Judge Business School Energy Policy Research Group. Kathryn also has over a decade of experience working on clean energy and environmental policy spanning roles in the clean energy and transportation industries and international organizations.


Kathryn’s research focuses on just energy transitions in the Global South and North America, the interaction of international institutions and domestic political economy in the area of clean energy transitions and climate governance, the effectiveness of complex global environmental governance, and U.S. energy policy. She is currently working on finalizing her book titled "The Global Governance of Energy Transitions: A Study of Impacts on Geothermal Development in Indonesia and the Philippines" (under contract with Cambridge University Press), which examines the effectiveness of complex global governance in fostering clean energy transitions through cases of geothermal development in Indonesia and the Philippines. She is also working on new research on just energy transitions, which examines the intersection of clean energy development and indigenous land rights.

Across her projects, Kathryn has used qualitative and quantitative methods, including field research, in-depth interviews, comparative analysis and process tracing, and social network analysis. Her research has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Albert Gallatin Fellowship for International Affairs. Her research expertise and other areas of interest include renewable energy policy, climate finance, development aid, political economy, climate change policy, just transitions and environmental justice.


Chelminski, K. (with L. Andonova and Y. Sun) (2022) Emergence and Structuring of the Regime Complex for Clean Energy. Global Governance 28(4): 1-30. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/19426720-02804005.

Chelminski, K. (2022) Climate Finance Effectiveness: A Comparative Analysis of Geothermal Development in Indonesia and the Philippines. Journal of Environment & Development 31(2): 139-167. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1070496521107003.

Andonova, L., Castro, P. and K. Chelminski (2018) Transferring technologies: The polycentric governance of clean energy technology. Chapter in Governing Climate Change: Polycentricity in Action?. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, U.K. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108284646.

Chelminski, K. (2018) Redefining success in fossil fuel subsidy reform in Indonesia. Chapter in Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, eds. H. van Asselt and J. Skovgaard, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108241946.

Andonova, L. and K. Chelminski (2015) “UNEP,” chapter in Edward Elgar Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Politics and Governance, P. Pattberg and F. Zelli (eds), Edward Elgar: UK.