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Robert Murphy

Business Fellow

Robert joins the Breakthrough Energy Business Fellows program from Victoria, British Columbia. As a Fellow, he will collaborate to develop the critical solutions needed to get to net zero and accelerate commercialization of truly impactful technologies.

He has spent the last two decades working on energy and climate challenges. Most recently, Robert led strategy and business development with San Francisco-based climate tech startup Aclima, where he developed business, partnership, and policy strategies and helped secure anchor customers and early funding rounds. In prior roles with global corporations and multilateral institutions — including the World Bank, Enbridge, and Chevron — Robert worked to solve their most complex problems utilizing expertise ranging from strategic planning and business development to geopolitical and quantitative analysis. Robert currently serves on the Berkeley Earth Board of Directors and the Carbon Mapper Policy and Impact Committee.

Robert was born in Canada to Irish immigrants and spent his formative years in Yemen, which inspired his fascination with the overlapping commercial, social, economic, and environmental complexities of energy. He holds an Honours Business Administration (HBA) degree from the Ivey School of Business in Canada and a Master of Arts in international security studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Q&A

If you were speaking to a prospective Fellow applicant, why should they apply?
The BE Fellows program is unique in terms of the hard-to-decarbonize technologies it is focused on, its ability to effectively support long-term development roadmaps, and the reach of the Breakthrough Energy organization more broadly.

What was the most impactful book you've read?
“Arabian Sands” by Wilfred Thesiger.

What did you want to be when you grow up?
An astronaut.

Give me travel tips for...
Low Earth orbit.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Don't be afraid of being afraid.