Professional Policies

Policy on Outside Activities

The “Harvard University Policy on Individual Financial Conflicts of Interest for Persons Holding Faculty and Teaching Appointments” opens by stating:

“As a center of discovery and learning, Harvard University plays a prominent role in disseminating ideas and knowledge to audiences within and beyond the University. Harvard faculty members do so in part through traditional academic pursuits, such as teaching, public lectures, scholarly publications, the training of graduate students and fellows, and public service appointments. In addition, and increasingly, faculty engage in extramural interactions with industry and other external constituencies. Consultancies, advisory engagements, service on for-profit and not-for-profit boards, translational ventures, and numerous other outside activities provide opportunities for faculty to direct their expertise and learning to socially useful applications.”

Through my work, I engage with representatives in the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors. I have received compensation beyond my Harvard (and previously Resources for the Future) salary for a variety of activities.

For example, I have received honoraria for giving speeches - including from MIT, the Electric Power Research Institute, Canada 2020, and Amgen - as well as for providing technical peer reviews of book proposals, draft reports, and grant applications - including Cambridge University Press, the International Monetary Fund, and the Smith Richardson Foundation. I have received compensation for teaching courses at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis. I have received compensation as a visiting scholar to various institutions, including the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, the Property & Environment Research Center, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society Visiting Scholars program. I have been commissioned to write papers by the Center for American Progress, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, The Hamilton Project, and Environmental Defense Fund and I am compensated for my regular column -- An Economic Perspective -- in The Environmental Forum published by the Environmental Law Institute. I have been compensated for making presentations and participating in workshops sponsored by government agencies - including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and Health Canada. I have also received royalties from Cambridge University Press for the two books on international climate policy that I co-edited. I have received compensation from Lazard Ltd. for advising the Lazard Climate Center.  

In addition, I have provided an array of pro bono services. I have given guest lectures at Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, Princeton University, Yale University, and others. I have reviewed draft reports for U.S. government agencies - including the Department of Energy, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, and the National Academy of Sciences. I have provided solicited advice to various government agency staff, White House staff, and Congressional staff. I have provided ad hoc solicited advice to representatives of private sector corporations and trade associations. I have also provided solicited advice to President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Since I graduated from my doctoral program in 2005, my CV lists my consulting work by identifying those entities that have compensated me for external activities. In addition, my CV lists all research grants, teaching, speaking engagements, reviews, and participation in various advisory capacities. I do not update my CV for ad hoc, pro bono advice or analysis I may provide to those external to the University. All of my working papers and published papers note the source (if any) of financial support for the underlying research and writing.


Policy on Recommendations

I write recommendations on behalf of students who have demonstrated strong analytic, technical, and communication skills in the classroom, as research assistants on my research projects, or as a teaching fellow for one of my courses.

I will only write a recommendation for a student who has:

(a) completed at least one of my courses and has earned an A or A- final grade; or, 
(b) worked at least one full semester for me as a research assistant or as a teaching fellow and demonstrates solid technical skills, has the capacity to complete tasks on time, anticipates and resolves problems that may arise, and brings intellectual value to the assigned tasks.

In addition, I write recommendations for doctoral candidates with whom I undertake research and for whom I serve on their dissertation committees.