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Phil Sharp
President, Resources for the Future

 

Philip Sharp, RFF President
Phil Sharp
President, Resources for the Future

High-Resolution Photo

 

Phil Sharp became President of Resources for the Future on September 1, 2005. His career in public service includes ten terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana, and a lengthy tenure on the faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. He was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on America's Climate Choices.

Founded in 1952 as an independent and nonpartisan research institution, RFF is the oldest Washington think tank devoted exclusively to policy analysis on energy, environmental, and natural resource issues. Sharp leads a research and administrative staff of more than 80 persons and oversees an institutional endowment of nearly $70 million.

Prior to his service in Congress from 1975 to 1995, Sharp taught political science at Ball State University from 1969 to 1974. Following his decision not to seek an eleventh consecutive term in the House, Sharp joined Harvard's Kennedy School, where he was a Lecturer in Public Policy from 1995 to 2001. He served as Director of Harvard's Institute of Politics from 1995 to 1998 and again from 2004 until August 2005. He also was a Senior Research Fellow in the Environmental and Natural Resources Program from 2001 to 2003.

Sharp currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Duke Energy Corporation and the Energy Foundation and was appointed to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.  He also serves on the Planetary Skin Institute’s Global Advisory Council and is a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative External Advisory Board as well as the International Advisory Board of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program.  In addition, he chairs the External Advisory Committee for the MIT Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study.

From 2002-2010, Sharp was Congressional chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy, a panel established by the Hewlett Foundation and other major foundations to make energy policy recommendations to the federal government. In December 2004, the commission released a long-term energy strategy, Ending the Energy Stalemate: A Bipartisan Strategy to Meet America's Energy Challenges. The report was widely recognized as a comprehensive roadmap for future energy policy, receiving considerable attention from Congress during the  debate over the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

During his 20-year congressional tenure, Sharp took key leadership roles in the development of landmark energy legislation. He was a driving force behind the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which led to the restructuring of the wholesale electricity market, promoted renewable energy, established more rigorous energy-efficiency standards, and encouraged expanded use of alternative fuels. He also helped to develop a critical part of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, providing for a market-based emissions allowance trading system.

Sharp served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he chaired the Fossil and Synthetic Fuels Subcommittee from 1981 to 1987 and the Energy and Power Subcommittee from 1987 to 1995. He also was a member of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, where he served on the Energy and Environment Subcommittee and the Water and Power Resources Subcommittee.

After leaving Congress, Sharp was a member of the National Research Council's Committee on Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, which issued its report in 2001. He chaired the Secretary of Energy's Electric Systems Reliability Task Force, which issued its report in 1998.

Sharp served on the Board of Directors of the Cinergy Corporation from 1995-2006, on the Board of the Electric Power Research Institute from 2002-2006, and on the National Research Council's Board of Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES) from 2001-2007. In addition, he  was appointed to the National Academies’ Committee on America’s Climate Choices and served from 2008-2011.  He was co-chair of the Energy Board of the Keystone Center, was a member of the Cummins Science and Technology Advisory Council, and served on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO).  He also chaired advisory committees for the MIT studies on the future of nuclear power and the future of coal.

Before accepting the RFF presidency, Sharp was senior policy advisor to the Washington law firm of Van Ness Feldman, and a senior advisor to the Cambridge economic analysis firm of Lexecon/FTI.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1942, Sharp was raised in Elwood, Indiana. After a year at DePauw University, he transferred to Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where he graduated cum laude in 1964. He spent the summer of 1966 at Oxford University and received his Ph.D. in government from Georgetown University in 1974.

 

 

 



Contact Information
:

  • Marilyn M. Voigt, Executive Assistant to the President, 202-328-5077 or voigt@rff.org

***
Resources for the Future, an independent and nonpartisan Washington, DC, think tank, seeks to improve environmental and natural resources policymaking worldwide through objective social science research of the highest caliber.

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Recent Publications

The Role of Oil in the U.S. Economy: Insights from a Veteran Observer
Resources Magazine
Winter/Spring 2011

Expectations, Great and Small As We Move Toward a Low Carbon Future
Resources Magazine
Fall 2010

Looking Beyond the Headlines
Resources Magazine
Summer 2010

View all Publications

Other Highlights

Tax Reform: Impact on U.S. Energy Policy
Testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
June 12, 2012



Testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations
Energy and Water Development Subcommittee
April 28, 2010

 

 

       Featured Video

Phil Sharp on America's Nuclear FutureAmericas Nuclear Future

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