Resources for the Future Welcomes Two Fellows in August

Hannah Druckenmiller and Penny Liao join the RFF community of esteemed environment and energy scholars.


Sept. 1, 2021

News Type

Press Release

Resources for the Future (RFF) is pleased to welcome two new fellows to the organization, Hannah Druckenmiller and Yanjun “Penny” Liao. Both fellows, who joined RFF in August, are helping expand the organization’s capacity to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions.

Hannah Druckenmiller, whose research focuses on ecosystem adaptation and resilience, recently completed her PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. At RFF, she will study the effects of forest degradation, wetland loss, and land use change in the United States.

Druckenmiller recently published her first paper at RFF, which analyzed the flood protection value that wetlands provide to US coastlines. On RFF’s Resources Radio podcast last week, Druckenmiller discussed her previous work on the economic value of trees and her related research interests.

“I’m excited to be joining this team,” Druckenmiller said. “RFF’s policy relevance was what originally attracted me to the institution, and I’m so glad to join this community of preeminent experts who are dedicated to advancing work in climate resilience.”

Yanjun “Penny” Liao joins RFF from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Center, where she conducted postdoctoral research on responses to extreme weather events and environmental risks. She earned her PhD in Economics from the University of California, San Diego in 2019. At RFF, she will explore topics on natural disaster risk management and climate adaptation.

Liao also recently published her first paper at RFF; her research, which focused on the relationship between home equity and flood insurance demand, was the subject of a Resources Radio podcast and a story in E&E News.

“Research in adaptation and resilience feels more important than ever–and I’m delighted to be working on these important topics at RFF,” Liao said. “There’s a lot of work to be done, and I’m looking forward to being a part of this effort and helping communities respond to the climate crisis.”

“We’re thrilled to have these bright, driven scholars on our team,” RFF President and CEO Richard Newell said. “I know that they will go on to do great things, and I am glad that they have chosen RFF as the place to launch their careers.”

RFF continues to recruit new staffing capacity for many of its new programs and initiatives. For more information on RFF’s research priorities, publications, events, editorial resources, and more, please visit

Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and may differ from those of other RFF experts, its officers, or its directors. RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals.

For more information, please refer to our media resources page or contact Media Relations Associate Anne McDarris.

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