About Georgetown University and the Prize Team


Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world.

The Georgetown University Program on Science in the Public Interest is leading the Georgetown University Energy Prize in partnership with the McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative and the Georgetown University Environment Initiative. The Prize collaborates with faculty and students across the University, ensuring it is truly a cross-disciplinary effort.




Francis Slakey, Executive Director

Francis SlakeyFrancis Slakey is a PhD physicist and the founder and Executive Director of the Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP), a groundbreaking competition that he conceived to address the global energy and environmental challenges we are facing. He is also the Upjohn Lecturer in Physics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and co-director of the Program on Science in the Public Interest. He specializes in energy policy with technical publications that have received more than 500 citations and commentary that has appeared widely in the popular media including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Scientific American and National Public Radio. He has served in advisory positions for a diverse set of organizations including National Geographic, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Creative Coalition. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) , and a Lemelson Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution. He is the first person in history to summit the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean, a journey that he describes in his best-selling adventure memoir “To The Last Breath” that Amazon selected as a “Best of 2012”.

Christofer Nelson, Project Director

Christofer Nelson has diverse experience launching and directing first-of-their-kind initiatives, including the Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP).  In his role as Program Director of the Georgetown University Program on Science in the Public Interest and a Georgetown University Environment Fellow, he is helping to connect students and faculty working across science and public policy. He has been involved with incentive competitions for years, working with organizations such as the X PRIZE Foundation, the Case Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, as well as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the NASA Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation to help others better understand how to design and use competitions to drive innovation.  He has designed, launched and managed programs for leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors, including top government officials at the White House, USDA, USDOT, HUD, and SBA.



The Georgetown University community is engaged in creating knowledge, tools, and experiences that foster environmentally-conscious action and create a culture of sustainability on campus. Not only is the university committed to engaging in research, teaching, and operational practices that foster a deeper understanding of sustainability, but it also seeks to be a catalyst for change and spur action on the issue.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a natural extension of the university’s commitment to sustainability, taking its existing initiatives to a national scale by tapping the imagination, creativity, and spirit of competition between communities across the country to develop sustainable energy-saving innovations.

To learn more about sustainability at Georgetown University, please visit sustainability.georgetown.edu.