U.S. Energy, Environment Offical to Join Duke Faculty

William Pizer, a top U.S. Treasury Department official whose departure from the Obama Administration was announced earlier this week, will join the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University to help design and lead an initiative in energy and the environment. He will begin teaching in the fall.

Pizer also was appointed a faculty fellow in the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, a nonpartisan institute at Duke that focuses on finding solutions to some of the nation's most pressing environmental challenges.

“Billy Pizer's decision to join our faculty will give an enormous boost to Duke's cross-school initiative in energy and the environment, and we expect him to play a leading role in shaping and developing the Sanford School of Public Policy's role in that initiative,” said Sanford School Dean Bruce Kuniholm.

During the last two years, as deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy, Pizer created and led a new office responsible for the Treasury Department’s role in the domestic and international environment and energy agenda of the United States.

“We are particularly fortunate in that Billy is one of the nation’s top energy problem solvers. At the U.S. Treasury, his creative and dogged work in support of clean energy deployment in the developing world resulted in real resources for solving energy challenges,” said Tim Profeta,director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. “As a faculty fellow, he will help the institute and help Duke chart a clean and secure national energy future.”

Previously, Pizer was a senior fellow and research director at Resources for the Future (RFF), a nonpartisan think tank. His research during 12 years at RFF often related to global climate change and examined how the design of environmental policy affects costs and effectiveness.  He has published more than two dozen peer-reviewed articles, as well as numerous other articles, reports and book chapters.

From 2001 to 2002, while on leave from RFF, he served as senior economist for the environment at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. His academic experience includes visiting professorships at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University.

“Duke has a great group of people already working on environment and energy policy, a demonstrated commitment to be a leader in this area, and top-ranked programs to train undergraduates, master’s students and Ph.Ds,” Pizer said. “I am excited to be joining such an active and vibrant faculty.”

Pizer earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in economics at Harvard University in 1996 and a bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1990. He is a member of the UNC Institute for the Environment board of visitors.