Diaspora Summit Organizer
Moderator of Panel: "The Future of Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid Panel"
Co-founder of Boricuas Unidos en la Diaspora.
Edil is a NASA scientist, licensed attorney, climate change expert, and Diaspora organizer, currently living in the Washington, DC area. He is a staff research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, where he works as the Applications Coordinator for NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System Initiative. He engages stakeholders from all sectors – federal, state and local agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector – with NASA-funded carbon scientists to ensure that data products developed are used in diverse applications and decision-making contexts.
After Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico, some of his work has shifted towards disaster recovery and resilience. Edil is now part of NASA's Black Marble Science Team, which recently was awarded the Agency's Group Achievement Medal for their efforts to support Puerto Rico’s recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The team, led by fellow Puerto Rican Miguel Román, developed the first ever near-real time monitoring of power outage-affected areas in Puerto Rico at neighborhood scales using the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) “day-night band” on board the Suomi NPP satellite. Edil was responsible for ground-truthing the Black Marble maps developed at NASA’s Goddard and Marshall Space Flight Centers by conducting field surveys throughout the island of Puerto Rico during the months following Hurricane Maria’s landfall.
Besides his work at NASA, he is the co-founder of the organization Boricuas Unidos en la Diáspora, which consists of a network of Puerto Rican professionals advocating for Puerto Rican issues from the mainland United States. They tap into their personal and professional networks to educate and fundraise for progressive and community-led organizations in Puerto Rico, with the goal of helping support self-reliant and resilience efforts in communities throughout the island. The group’s focus for the past year has been fundraising for organizations working on renewable energy projects in the Island, meeting with Congressional offices to discuss and advocate solutions to Puerto Rico’s energy problems, and organizing conferences and discussion panels on the topic of the energy future for Puerto Rico.
Before working at NASA, Edil was a consultant in climate change and environmental legal issues for the Government of Puerto Rico. He holds a B.S. in Geology from University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law, and a Master’s degree in Climate & Society with an Energy & Environmental Policy Concentration from Columbia University.