Ognen Stojanovski

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Ognen Stojanovski, JD

  • Research Affiliate at PESD

616 Jane Stanford Way
Encina Hall East
Stanford, CA 94305

(415) 745-2636 (voice)


Ognen Stojanovski has been affiliated with PESD since 2005 (while still a student at Stanford Law School) and returned to the program in 2012. He is charged with leading PESD’s research platform on low-income energy services, which studies the kinds of economic and institutional arrangements that can deliver modern energy services to the poor at scale and in a durable way (as opposed to whether a specific technology can be made to work on a one-off basis).

His current research focuses on measuring and quantifying the economic and social welfare impacts of solar PV products in developing countries, as well as identifying innovations in the off-grid solar industry that can improve business performance and maximize end-user benefits. He is also keenly interested in investigating the theory and practice of impact investing in social enterprises intended to both promote development and deliver financial returns. Stojanovski was previously part of PESD's research on national oil companies and authored the chapter on Pemex and the Mexican oil sector in the book Oil and Governance: State-owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply.

Stojanovski has designed and carried out multiple randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and other field research projects in challenging environments. He has also been responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with both commercial and research partners that have enabled PESD to perform effective research in these settings. He authored successful research grant proposals to support this work.

Stojanovski developed the curriculum for Economics 121: “Social Science Field Research Methods,” a new course he has co-taught (along with Frank Wolak and Mark Thurber) since 2015. The course aims to equip students with strong foundations in research design and rigorous data analysis, along with the practical skills required for successful fieldwork implementation and project management. In the summer of 2015, he organized and led a group of selected students from the course to conduct an RCT in Puebla, Mexico. They explored how households use electricity and tested whether information about electricity pricing and conservation leads to changes in behavior.

Stojanovski’s research at the nexus of energy and development is motivated and informed by working, living, and traveling through over 20 developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, central and eastern Europe, and South America for four years (October 2007-October 2011).

Additionally, Stojanovski has extensive experience in the autonomous vehicles industry, starting as a competitor in the first DARPA Grand Challenge while in graduate school in 2003-04. Most recently, he helped launch Otto (a startup later acquired by Uber) where he spearheaded policy, internal research, and external advocacy efforts. He developed the company’s policy position and compiled research probing the potential safety, fuel-efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and productivity benefits of self-driving commercial motor vehicles. He also organized and led a team undertaking a detailed econometric analysis on the possible impacts of this technology on the trucking labor market (available here).

Stojanovski has worked closely with policymakers, regulators and law enforcement at the federal, state, and international levels to develop and implement autonomous vehicle policies. He cleared a regulatory path forward for major milestones, including: (1) the first-ever commercial delivery by an autonomous truck ; (2) the first series of interstate shipments by (SAE level 2) self-driving trucks; and (3) the first framework for the development and testing of self-driving trucks in California. Stojanovski continues to actively advise on policy and legal issues related to autonomous vehicles.

Stojanovski has a background is in law and engineering. He received his J.D. from Stanford (with distinction) and also holds masters and bachelor’s degrees from UC Berkeley in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (with highest honors). He is an active member of the State Bar of California and has advised clients on a wide range of corporate legal issues.