David Babson, Ph.D.

David Babson, Ph.D.

EVP, Climate & Energy

Dr. David Babson is the Executive Vice President of the Climate & Energy Domain at the XPRIZE Foundation. David is developing and leading innovation challenges to address global climate and energy challenges and he brings more than a decade of experience from government, academic, and non-profit roles promoting advanced technology programs, evidence-based public policy, and sustainable investments to achieve ambitious climate change mitigation and clean energy aims.

Prior to joining XPRIZE, David served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate Grand Challenges Initiative (CGC), which manages focused programs and grand challenges that seed advanced research aimed at developing impactful solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Prior to leading MIT’s CGC, David served as a Program Director for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) at the U.S. Department of Energy where he focused on biotechnology, innovations for ag- and nature-based carbon drawdown, and biotechnology for sustainable carbon-optimized fuel and chemical synthesis. Before joining ARPA-E he was the Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment in the Office of the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. David detailed in his USDA role from the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) where he was a Technology Manager. At USDA, David led R&D coordination efforts on carbon management, climate change mitigation, sustainability, and agricultural systems innovation. At BETO David oversaw projects for its Conversion Program and worked to understand how to leverage new technologies to advance the emerging bioeconomy and address global energy and climate challenges. Before joining DOE he worked as the Senior Fuels Engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists and as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

David is passionate about finding transformative solutions to global challenges that can scale rapidly for impact while aligning with a vision for a sustainable global economy that meets its climate and environmental obligations to future generations.

David completed post-docs at the University of Minnesota’s Biotechnology Institute and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. David has a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Outside of work, David enjoys skiing and traveling with his family. He lives in Marshfield, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.