William A. Pizer

President and CEO, Resources for the Future

Billy Pizer is the President and CEO of Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent, nonprofit research institution that improves environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. He was previously the Susan B. King Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research at the Sanford School of Public Policy, where Dr. Pizer served on the faculty for ten years. From 2008 to 2011, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, overseeing Treasury’s role in the domestic and international environment and energy agenda of the United States. Dr. Pizer was previously a Fellow at RFF, a senior economist for energy and environment on the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and a senior economist at the National Commission on Energy Policy. He has previously served as a member on two committees for the National Academy of Science (on the social cost of greenhouse gases and on deep decarbonization), a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a peer reviewer for the government’s 2023 revision to cost-benefit guidelines, and a member of multiple government advisory committees. He currently serves on the Climate-related Financial Risk Advisory Committee to the Financial Stability Oversight Council. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from Harvard University and a B.S. in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His research examines different choices in the design of policies to drive towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, how those choices affect both aggregate costs to society and the distribution of those costs among different members of society, and the interaction of national policies both across countries and with international negotiations. His work also examines how we value the future benefits of climate change mitigation. Dr. Pizer was involved in the creation of an environmental program at Duke Kunshan University in China and engaged in US-China climate policy dialogues for more than a decade. He has written more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Featured Content