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The Sustainable Transport Community Remembers Lee Schipper

posted Nov 7, 2012, 3:32 PM by   [ updated Nov 7, 2012, 5:28 PM ]
Originally posted on August 16, 2012 on
"Lee’s vision was multi-layered, data-driven and extraordinarily provocative for the times."

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Leon J. Schipper, international physicist, energy efficiency expert, musician and co-founder of EMBARQ, the sustainable transport center of the World Resources Institute. Schipper, lovingly known as “Lee” or “Mr. Meter,” devoted his life to solving problems related to transportation, energy and climate change.

To keep his legacy alive, the Schipper Family and EMBARQ created the “Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency.” The scholarship committee is now accepting donations, which will support work of individual researchers and students committed to Lee’s vision.

The aim of the scholarship is aimed at expanding the contributions to research and policy dialogue in the field of sustainable transport and energy efficiency. In memory of Lee’s work, the scholarship will support initiatives triggering and catalyzing transformative research and policy papers. The scholarship will place a special emphasis on “iconoclastic” contributions (challenging conventional wisdom) that have clear, transformative outputs and contribute to measurable changes. For more information, visit

Lee passed away on August 16, 2011 at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 64.

He was a project scientist with Global Metropolitan Studies at University of California, Berkeley and was a Senior Research Engineer at the Precourt Institute of Energy Efficiency at Stanford University.

Lee was widely recognized for enriching policy dialogue with his passion for data and challenging conventional wisdom. He authored more than 100 papers and books, took part in countless panels and studies, and served on the board of several institutions, not to mention acted as an advisor and consultant to many more organizations.

Lee’s vision was multi-layered, data-driven and extraordinarily provocative for the times.

Under his leadership, EMBARQ advanced its sustainable transport projects and policy into Mexico, China, India and beyond.

Lee was also well loved for his musical talent and sense of humor. As an accomplished jazz vibraphonist, he led an amateur musical group, Lee Schipper and the Mitigators, which often played at scientific conferences to raise awareness about global warming.

He also acted as a trusted mentor throughout his career, inspiring a new generation of students and young professionals dedicated to sustainable transport.

The Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship was announced in January 2012 during the 9th annual Transforming Transportation conference in Washington, D.C. The scholarship has so far raised more than $100,000, with special seed funding from Shell Foundation.

The scholarship committee will begin accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) this fall.

The advisory board includes the following esteemed colleagues:

  • Holger Dalkmann, Director, EMBARQ
  • David Jhirad, Director of the Energy, Resources and Environment Program, Johns Hopkins University
  • Nancy Kete, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Ramon Munoz-Raskin, Transport Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Judith Pollock, Deputy Director, Shell Foundation
  • Sanjivi Sundar, Professor, TERI University
  • Sam Zimmerman, Urban Transport Advisor (retired), World Bank

Tax-deductible donations may be made in the following ways:

Checks should be made payable to the “Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship/WRI Fund” and sent to the World Resources Institute Fund (WRIF), Suite 800, 10 G Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Online contributions can be made at When you fill out your information, please select the “Scholarship” option in the dropdown menu located in the tribute section at the bottom of the online donation form.

If you are interested in learning more, or if you have ideas that you would like to share, please send us an email: We will send you updates on the application process and its outcomes.

Thank you for remembering Lee on this day and for your continued interest in the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship.

For more information: