Max Schmidt

Max Schmidt specialises in questions at the intersection of climate, development, energy and finance. He supports the team in the project “SPARK” which aims to facilitate discourses around and the implementation of socially just environmental and climate policies with partners in various countries across the globe.

Before joining Arepo, Max Schmidt was a Carlo-Schmid-Fellow with the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Geneva, working on energy subsidy reform in the two coal economies South Africa and India. He also gained field experience in both countries, interning with the German Embassy Pretoria and during a study trip to New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune as a scholarship holder of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation. Building on these field experiences and field research, he wrote his Bachelor’s thesis on the political sociology of South Africa and his Master’s thesis on the modern expression of “coal nationalism” under Narendra Modi.

Besides his work in think tanks, NGOs and the public sector, Max Schmidt also worked and volunteered in various university roles, most recently as Graduate Research Assistant at the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS, University of London where he supported the drafting of reports such as on climate-related financial risks for the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). From 2014 to 2021 Max Schmidt also worked as a facilitator for civic education with teamGLOBAL, focussing on topics related to resources, climate and energy.

Max Schmidt holds an M.Sc. in Research for International Development from SOAS, University of London, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and taught by both the Department of Economics and the Department of Development Studies. He completed two B.A.s in sociology and political science at Leipzig University in parallel. At the University of Edinburgh he broadened his academic horizon beyond the social sciences as an ERASMUS+-student for a year. Currently, he also pursues an online certificate course with the Frankfurt School-UNEP-Collaborating Centre for Climate and Renewable Energy Finance.  

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