Brian P. Flannery

Visiting Fellow

Brian Flannery joined Resources for the Future as a Visiting Fellow in 2012. At RFF he continues involvement on climate and energy issues that began in 1980 when he joined Exxon’s Corporate Research Laboratory. In 2011 he retired from Exxon Mobil Corporation as Science, Strategy and Programs Manager. At Exxon, he conducted research, organized international workshops and symposia dealing with climate-related science, technology, economics, and policy, and worked with others across the organization on a variety of activities involving research, operations, projects and issues where climate change was a factor.

Flannery has served on several editorial and advisory boards, among them: Stanford University School of Engineering, Annual Reviews of Energy and Environment and the International Geosphere Biosphere Program, and participated in assessments of the US DOE and EPA and IPCC (Working Group III: 3rd and 4th Assessments). He participated with business associations including the International Chamber of Commerce (Vice-Chair, Environment and Energy Committee), US Council for International Business (Chair, International Energy Working Group), Major Economies Business Forum (Chair, Task Force on Business Engagement) and IPIECA (Executive Committee, and Chair Global Climate Change Working Group). Flannery played a leadership role in creating the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change (MIT) and the Global Climate and Energy Project (Stanford).

Before Exxon, Flannery pursued a career in astrophysics. He received degrees from Princeton (AB 1970) and the University of California Santa Cruz (PhD 1974) and held positions as a post-doctoral associate at the Institute for Advanced Study (1974-76) and assistant and associate professor at Harvard (1976-1980). Flannery is coauthor of the reference Numerical Recipes: the Art of Scientific Computing. The series of books and software is widely used by scientists, engineers, economists and others who create or utilize technical computing in their research.

Flannery’s current interests center on developments in the Paris Agreement and challenges of reconciling obligations under the WTO and UNFCCC—in particular, border tax adjustments.


  • PhD in astrophysics, University of California-Santa Cruz, 1974
  • AB in astrophysics, Princeton University, 1970

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