Ben Gaddy is part of the Breakthrough Energy Fellows team, working to find and support clean energy and climate innovators. Prior to joining Gates Ventures in 2020, Ben spent four years in Chicago as Chief Technology Officer and Director of Investments at Clean Energy Trust, investing in early-stage climate and energy innovation, identifying the best cleantech startups, and working with portfolio companies to bring their technology to market. Previously, he had a fellowship at the US Department of Energy, where he focused on the challenges faced by cleantech startups in scaling new innovations to manufacturing. His research on the history of cleantech investments has been appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Economist, and the New York Times.
Ben holds a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, specializing in the electronic and optical properties of wide-bandgap semiconductors, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from NC State University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Ben was born in Sweden and stays connected to the community by teaching his two young children the language and playing Nordic folk music on the cello, guitar, and accordion. He loves learning foreign languages and on weekends you might find him exploring local running trails.