Dr. Raj Rajan is currently Vice President of Project Development at Direct Connect Development Company and Fellow of the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota. He was formerly the technical lead of corporate sustainability at Ecolab, leading their 2014 effort to become 100% solar powered in MN operations and subsequently negotiated a 100 MW wind power purchase agreement that will make their entire electricity use in North America carbon neutral from 2020 to 2045. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Fresh Energy.
Currently, Raj also serves on the Board of Directors of the non-profits Environmental Initiative and Climate Generation. He was appointed as the statewide business representative on Minnesota’s Clean Water Council (2015-). He also serves on the Advisory Council of The Nature Conservancy’s Minnesota Headwaters Fund (2015-) and on the Kresge Foundation’s Urban Climate Adaptation Assessment Advisors’ Group (2015-). Additionally, he served as a Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Macalester College (2019), Chair of External Advisory Council for the National Science Foundation project on Sustainable, Healthy and Livable Cities (2015-2020), on the Faculty Leadership Council of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota (2015-2020), and recently participated in Industry Working Groups of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (2014-15), Water Stewardship Advisory Group of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (2014-17), and Sustainability Advisory Workgroup of the American Cleaning Institute (2014-18).
Raj is a Registered Professional Engineer in multiple US states. He received a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a BS in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Varanasi, India.