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Energy and Environment Directorate

Nik Foster

Nik Foster

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 375-2219


Nik Foster is a political scientist with eight years of experience working on sustainable energy policies in Pakistan, China, Germany and the US. His work at PNNL supports DOE, DOD and USAID projects in the area of energy efficiency, energy security, energy policy, renewable energy and market analysis. Nik is also researching how globalization has impacted the global nuclear industry. Nik previously was the communication lead for the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project.

Before joining PNNL, Nik worked as a consultant for the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistant Program, researching best practices in Low-Energy Building Standards for the Energy Efficient Cities Initiative Program. Nik has also developed life cycle analyses and tracked global waste chains for the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and worked for a D.C. think tank, the Center for Transatlantic Relations.

Research Interests

  • Energy Policy
  • Smart Grid
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Research & Analysis

Education and Credentials

  • MA, International Relations & Economics, John Hopkins University, 2009
  • BA, History & the Law, Suffolk University, 2006

PNNL Publications



  • Bloyd CN, and NAF Foster. 2014. An Update on Ethanol Production and Utilization in Thailand-2014PNNL-23673, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Makhmalbaf A, KP Brooks, V Srivastava, SP Pilli, and NAF Foster. 2014. "Lesson Learned from Technical and Economic Performance Assessment and Benefit Evaluation of CHP-FCS ." Chapter 3 in 2014 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. The Next Generation: Reaching for High Energy Savings, August 17-22, 2014, Pacific Grove, California, pp. 3-207 - 3-218.  American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Washington DC. 
  • Orrell AC, HE Rhoads-Weaver, LT Flowers, MN Gagne, BH Pro, and NAF Foster. 2014. 2013 Distributed Wind Market ReportPNNL-23484, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Somasundaram S, RG Pratt, BA Akyol, N Fernandez, NAF Foster, S Katipamula, ET Mayhorn, A Somani, AC Steckley, and ZT Taylor. 2014. Transaction-Based Building Controls Framework, Volume 1: Reference GuidePNNL-23302, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • Foster NAF. 2011. "To Begin the World Anew: Smart Grids and the Need for a Comprehensive U.S. Energy Policy." Chapter 5 in Transatlantic Energy Futures: Strategic Perspectives on Energy Security, Climate Change and New Technologies in Europe and the United States, ed. D Koranyi, pp. 99-123.  Center for Transatlantic Relations, Washington, DC. 
  • Melton RB, RE Jarnagin, TD Halter, and NAF Foster. 2011. Grid-Interop 2010 Proceedings: Working Together For Interoperability, November 30- December 3, 2010, Chicago, IL.  GridWise Architecture Council, Richland, WA. 

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas