Bio: Rafael is a rising second-year doctoral student at the UC Berkeley Law School's Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP) PhD program, which seeks to provide a broad basis for understanding legal policy through a humanistic and social scientific lens. Rafael is also a member of the third cohort of the “Environment and Society: Data Sciences for the 21st Century” National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (DS421 NRT). Born in Costa Rica and having lived in five countries, Rafael is deeply interested in global issues and comparative approaches to addressing them. This led him to earn an A.B. in Comparative Politics from Princeton University in 2014 with a minor in Environmental Studies, and to focus on addressing climate change. After graduation, he worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to establish a global cap on international aviation emissions from the year 2020 onwards through the development of a global market-based measure alongside civil society, industry and government stakeholders. Rafael subsequently briefly worked as a software developer in the financial industry, deepening his technical skills and broadening his domain knowledge. Rafael has now entered UC Berkeley with the hopes of leveraging his experiences and Berkeley's academic rigor towards investigating, identifying, strengthening and promoting scientifically sound sustainable development policy at home and abroad.
Research: Rafael's research interests currently lie in the Law and Economics of sustainable development. He is interested in exploring how domestic and international legal and political institutions can catalyze the financing of renewable energy technology and carbon offsetting programs. At the same time, he is interested in, and is currently pursuing research aimed at, understanding how different regulatory and institutional structures can work to strengthen or weaken enforcement of existing laws in the environmental, public interest and financial sectors, both domestically and internationally.
Fields of Interest: Law and Economics, Behavioral Economics, Environmental Law and Policy, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Development, Comparative Political Economy