Dipti Vaghela

Dipti Vaghela


Dipti Vaghela focuses on decentralized renewable energy solutions for marginalized, rural communities. Since 2006, in Odisha and other regions of indigenous India, Dipti's dual role as a researcher and practitioner has helped to synergize communities, local entrepreneurs, field-based NGOs, policy makers, donor agencies, and government stakeholders in implementing bottom up, learning-process approaches to community-based micro hydro initiatives. Building upon her action research in India, in 2012 Dipti helped to establish the micro Hydro Empowerment Network for South and Southeast Asia (HPNET), a practitioner's knowledge exchange platform to alleviate knowledge gaps that commonly cause project failures and to develop socio-technical standards and innovations, for robust micro hydro implementation. In 2013, supported by the Switzer Environmental Leadership Grant, Dipti served as International Rivers' energy solutions coordinator to research and promote policy solutions and regional networks that support people-powered development. She now coordinates HPNET and other change-driven implementation and research projects.

Dipti's passion for technology that sustainably alleviates poverty and drudgery was triggered by a Mechanical Engineering degree from UC Berkeley, her perspectives as a productive design engineer in Silicon Valley, and her family's roots in rural India. She is grateful for the support from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. She received a Switzer Environmental Fellowship in 2008, a Switzer Professional Development Grant in 2012, and the Switzer Environmental Leadership Grant in 2013. In 2016 she became a Fulbright Public Policy Fellow to serve in Burma.

Fellow Activity

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Univ of California, Berkeley and San Jose State University, BS and MS
Current Position:
Network Manager and Facilitator
Hydro Empowerment Network
Energy & Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Natural Resource Management
Water Resources
Currently Working On:
Community hydro in south and southeast Asia; Practice-to-Policy research on other decentralized renewable energy

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