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Afreen Siddiqi

Mailing address

Littauer 331A
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Afreen Siddiqi

Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

Contact:
Telephone: 617-495-8964
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: afreen_siddiqi@hks.harvard.edu

 

Experience

Dr. Afreen Siddiqi is a visiting scholar with the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She is also as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research expertise is at the intersection of technology, policy, and international development. She combines quantitative tools and qualitative methods for complex socio-technical systems analysis. Her current work is in natural resources planning and scientific capacity and industrial development in emerging countries. In the first area, her work focuses on critical linkages between water, energy, and food security at urban, provincial, and national scales in the water-scarce Middle East and in the water rich but energy-starved Indus Basin of Pakistan. In the second area, her research is on analyzing engineering education and scientific research enterprise in emerging economies in Middle East and Europe for seeding new industrial sectors, innovation, and competitive diversification.

Dr. Siddiqi has an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering and an S.M. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Systems, all from MIT. She has been a recipient of the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, Richard D. DuPont Fellowship, and the Rene H. Miller Prize in Systems Engineering. She has engineering experience in National Instruments (in Austin, Texas) and Schlumberger (in Houston, Texas), consulting experience with BP, Lockheed Martin, and Aurora Flight Systems, and teaching experience at MIT and Universita della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland.

 

 

By Date

 

2015

Wikimedia CC 2.0

In Press

"Food Security Amidst Water Scarcity: Insights on Sustainable Food Production from Saudi Arabia"

Journal Article, Sustainable Production and Consumption

By Arani Kajenthira, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, April–June 2013; Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, September 2010–March 2013, Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Water, energy, and food security are of critical concern as rising population growth and rapid urbanization place greater pressure on our natural resources. This study evaluates the growing internationalization of food production in water-scarce countries using the case of Saudi Arabia as a microcosm to illustrate the tradeoffs in resource consumption associated with crop selection and farming practices.

 

2014

June 2014

"Prospects for Policy Advances in Science and Technology in the Gulf Arab States: The Role for International Partnerships"

Journal Article, International Journal of Higher Education, issue 3, volume 3

By David P. Hajjar, Former Senior Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2013–2014, George W. Moran, Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Joshua E. Richardson, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) policies in the Gulf Arab States are as diverse as the individual economies and political processes that characterize its member states. During the past decade, a number of expert review groups have argued that science and technology policy needs to be reformed and revitalized in the Gulf Arab States.

 

 

Xavi Talleda Photo CC

March 2014

"Assessing Future Water Availability in Arid Regions Using Composition and Salience of Decision Criteria"

Working Paper

By Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Farah Ereiqat and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Water resources development options are usually selected on a least-cost basis. While economic considerations are dominant in choosing projects, there are also a mix of other factors including social demands, political expediency, social equity, and environmental considerations that impact final decisions and development of water supply systems. Understanding local priorities in water resource management decisions can allow for forming expectations of future regional water availability. In this research, the authors propose that future water availability in arid regions may be assessed by considering key projects that have been identified or planned by regional experts.

 

 

Syed Usman Ali Photo

February 13, 2014

"The Water-Energy-Food Nexus of Pakistan"

Op-Ed, Express Tribune

By Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

"Crop production in the heartlands of Pakistan — served by a massive network of canals — now increasingly relies on energy consuming groundwater pumps to meet irrigation needs. A million tube wells are reportedly installed in Punjab alone, and energy use in pumping and farm operations may account for up to one-fifth of the province's energy consumption."

 

2013

June 2013

"Bridging Decision Networks for Integrated Water and Energy Planning"

Journal Article, Energy Strategy Reviews, issue 1, volume 2

By Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Arani Kajenthira, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, April–June 2013; Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, September 2010–March 2013 and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Integrated policy and planning is needed to effectively meet the challenges of growing water and energy inter-dependencies in many regions. Joint consideration of both water and energy domains can identify new options for increasing overall resource use efficiencies. In order to identify and realize such opportunities, however, detailed knowledge of current and emerging water–energy couplings is needed along with a nuanced understanding of key actors and agencies engaged in decision-making. In this paper we develop a systematic, analytical approach based on quantitative analysis of water and energy couplings, identification and characterization of key actors and groups using concepts from stakeholders theory, and employing notions from organization theory of boundary-spanning agents that can serve to bridge inter-organizational networks for water and energy planning. We apply this approach to conduct an in-depth investigation of water and energy resources in Jordan.

 

2012

AP Photo

July 2012

"A New Case for Promoting Wastewater Reuse in Saudi Arabia: Bringing Energy into the Water Equation"

Journal Article, Journal of Environmental Management, volume 102

By Arani Kajenthira, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, April–June 2013; Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, September 2010–March 2013, Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Saudi Arabia is the third-largest per capita water user worldwide and has addressed the disparity between its renewable water resources and domestic demand primarily through desalination and the abstraction of non-renewable groundwater. This study evaluates the potential costs of this approach in the industrial and municipal sectors, exploring economic, energy, and environmental costs (including CO2 emissions and possible coastal impacts). Although the energy intensity of desalination is a global concern, it is particularly urgent to rethink water supply options in Saudi Arabia because the entirety of its natural gas production is consumed domestically, primarily in petrochemical and desalination plants.

 

2011

June 2011

"A New Case for Wastewater Reuse in Saudi Arabia: Bringing Energy into the Water Equation"

Policy Brief

By Arani Kajenthira, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, April–June 2013; Former Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, September 2010–March 2013, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

Industrial and urban water reuse should be considered along with desalination as options for water supply in Saudi Arabia. Although the Saudi Ministry for Water and Electricity (MoWE) has estimated that an investment of $53 billion will be required for water desalination projects over the next 15 years [1], the evolving necessity to conserve fossil resources and mitigate GHG emissions requires Saudi policy makers to weigh in much more heavily the energy and environmental costs of desalination. Increasing water tariffs for groundwater and desalinated water to more adequately represent the costs of water supply could encourage conservation, but also reuse, which may be more appropriate for many inland and high-altitude cities.

 

 

August 2011

"The Water–Energy Nexus in Middle East and North Africa"

Journal Article, Energy Policy, issue 6, volume 39

By Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Extracting, delivering, and disposing water requires energy, and similarly, many processes for extracting and refining various fuel sources and producing electricity use water. This so-called 'water–energy nexus', is important to understand due to increasing energy demands and decreasing freshwater supplies in many areas. This paper performs a country-level quantitative assessment of this nexus in the MENA region.

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.