Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, December 2, 2011

Cubero shifts focus from finance to energy analysis

Ed Cubero


After graduating in 2013, Ed Cubero became a senior research associate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

After five years as a financial analyst, Ed Cubero is turning his attention to energy policy and analysis.

Cubero graduated from New York University in 2004, worked in insurance for a year, then joined Moody's Investors Service. "I happened to work at Moody's during an interesting time as I was able to see the changes in the performance of individual companies through the economic cycle," says Cubero, who is now a first-year student pursuing a Master of Public Affairs, plus a certificate in energy analysis and policy.

As part of Moody's Corporate Finance Group, he analyzed a portfolio of small, private firms across a range of industries. "The volatile energy costs over the past few years had a significant impact on the earnings of some companies," he says. "This led to my interest in energy policy." Cubero also recognized the cost to companies for complying with environmental regulations, particularly in an economic downturn.

These observations got him thinking about public affairs. "I always knew graduate school was on the horizon, and I became particularly interested in renewable energy and the development of long-term, energy solutions," he says. Cubero believes that his experience in financial analysis can help in the energy policy field, particularly in evaluating the costs of new energy investments. Though environmental policy is important, "it must be done in a cost-effective manner so it does not hurt economic growth," he says.

The La Follette School's small size drew him to Madison, as did the idea of living in another part of the country. Cubero visited in October 2010, expecting just a quick meeting with admissions staff, but student services coordinator Mary Cate Treleven set up an entire day for him to give a sense of the school and campus. "She arranged for me to talk with professor Nemet and professor Moynihan and to sit in on a class," Cubero says. "I returned in the spring for the visit day and had another great, welcoming experience."

Cubero is looking forward to applying his mathematical and analytical skills in the context of public affairs. In addition to the two introductory courses in statistics and microeconomics, he is taking Greg Nemet's course in energy analysis and policy. "The program's interdisciplinary nature allows you to take courses in many different schools at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which was another positive about La Follette," Cubero says. "The skills I am gaining here plus my work experience will help me contribute to finding solutions to future energy problems."

Contributions aid student

Contributions from alumni and friends of the La Follette School helped to make it possible for Ed Cubero to pursue his studies in public affairs and energy policy. "The award from the Clara Penniman fund has made my move from New York City to Madison much easier and is allowing me to focus on my coursework," Cubero says. "I appreciate the generosity of Dr. Penniman in establishing the fund and of the alumni and friends who are sustaining it to help myself and other students achieve their career goals."

Clara Penniman, founder of La Follette School precursor Center for the Study of Public Policy and Administration, established the award in 1998. She died in 2009.

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