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Champions Corner: Dr. Malak Al-Nory focuses on advancing research on clean energy


Dr. Malak Al-Nory is an advisor of Sustainability and Climate Change in the Saudi Ministry of Energy. She is an expert in clean energy and clean water integration, innovative solutions, and strategic planning. She is an established researcher with published research collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and others. She is an editorial board member at the Nature NPJ Clean Water Journal and an advisory board member with the MIT Technology Review Arabia. She is also an advocate for women in clean energy and was appointed as Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) International Ambassador representing Saudi Arabia in this initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial.

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I work as an advisor focusing on scientific advancements related to sustainability and climate change. I am a member of a highly driven team at the Sustainability and Climate Change office of the Saudi Ministry of Energy. Our team’s aspirational mission is to support sustainability and climate change in the energy sector. We help represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in international policy negotiations pertaining to energy and climate change. This includes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other platforms. We also participate in developing clean traditional energy strategies and related international initiatives such as Mission Innovation and the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Our team also participates in the deployment of Circular Carbon Economy, a nationwide comprehensive sustainability project adopted by Saudi Arabia to sustain economic growth while managing GHG levels and accommodating a diverse energy mix of cleaner energy sources. Our aim is to support Saudi Arabia’s role as a leader for sustainability and combating climate change. Within this larger team’s efforts, I also lead a team of scientists in reviewing international scientific reports such as IPCC reports and in producing related national studies and policy recommendations. ​

As a research affiliate in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and dating back to 2012 when I first joined MIT Ibn Khaldun Fellowship program, I have also been investigating and developing innovative and sustainable integrated energy and water solutions, including grid optimization to improve water desalination projects.

How do you intend to leverage being an MI Champion? 

I have the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with a larger group. I have the chance to highlight innovative solutions to accelerate clean energy in my country, my region and globally. For example, with increased capacity of water desalination both in the Gulf Region and around the world, ensuring it can be done in an environmentally sustainable way is an urgent priority. I would like to further my studies to prove that renewable desalination is a viable solution technically and economically. I also want to show how desalination capacity can be used as clean energy storage.

I will also continue working with young women in educational and professional settings to empower them to take on careers and leading roles in clean energy through platforms like a network I established called Women in Clean Energy in Saudi Arabia.

Do you have any upcoming plans or announcements that you would like to share with the MI community? 

Prior to joining the Ministry of Energy, I led a team of international scientists to produce and publish a G20 policy brief on managing emissions from water desalination.

This year, I am also a mentor with GWNET Global Women Network for Energy Transition, a mentorship program that helps women in energy become agents of change in society worldwide.

I recently led my team in helping review the IPCC report and in leading the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s delegation in the report’s governmental approval process. ​I will also lead reviews and approvals of the additional IPCC reports later this year and in 2022.