LEAD Logo & Speaker Gina McCarthy

Keynote: The Future of Energy & Our Environment

The Honorable Gina McCarthy
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Gina McCarthy is the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Appointed by President Obama in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment.

Previously, McCarthy served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. During her career, which spans over 30 years, she has worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment.

McCarthy received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy from Tufts University.

When she is not in D.C., McCarthy lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and dog, just a short bike ride away from their three children, Daniel, Maggie, and Julie.


Presentation: Cheap & Clean: How Americans Think about Energy in the Age of Global Warming

David Konisky
Associate Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy

David Konisky is Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. David’s research focuses on American politics and public policy, with particular emphasis on regulation, environmental politics and policy, state politics, and public opinion. His research has been published in various journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and Public Opinion Quarterly. David is also the author of two books: Superfund’s Future: What Will it Cost? (RFF Press, 2001, with Kate Probst) and Cheap and Clean: How Americans Think about Energy in the Age of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2014, with Steve Ansolabehere). 

David is currently working on projects examining enforcement of federal environmental laws, environmental justice, and public attitudes toward energy and environmental issues. 

Prior to coming to Georgetown, David was on the faculty of the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. He also previously was a Research Associate at Resources for the Future.

Stephen Ansolabehere
Professor, Harvard University

Professor of Political Science, Professor Ansolabehere studies elections, democracy, and the mass media. He is coauthor (with Shanto Iyengar) of The Media Game (Macmillan, 1993) and of Going Negative: How Political Advertising Alienates and Polarizes the American Electorate (The Free Press, 1996). His articles have appeared in The American Political Science Review, The British Journal of Politics, The Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, The Quill, and Chance. His current research projects include campaign finance, congressional elections, and party politics.


Panel Discussion: Energy Policy & Climate Change: Overcoming the Disconnect in American Public Opinion

Edward Maibach
Professor, George Mason University

Dr. Edward Maibach is a University Professor and Director of Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication (4C).  In the Department of Communication, he teaches seminars in climate change communication, strategic communication, and social marketing. His research currently focuses exclusively on how to mobilize populations to adopt behaviors and support public policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change.

Dr. Maibach holds a BA in social psychology from University of California at San Diego (1980), an MPH in health promotion from San Diego State University (1983), and a PhD in communication research from Stanford University (1990).

Dr. Maibach previously had the pleasure to serve as Associate Director of the National Cancer Institute, Worldwide Director of Social Marketing at Porter Novelli, and Chairman of the Board for Kidsave International.  He has also held academic positions at George Washington University and Emory University.

What students may not know about Dr. Maibach is that he helped plan a multi-billion dollar communication campaign for the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the late 1990s.

Barry Rabe
Professor, University of Michigan

Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy, Arthur Thurnau Professor at the Ford School, and director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), with additional appointments in the Department of Political Science, the Program in the Environment, and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Much of his recent research examines sub-federal development of policies to reduce greenhouse gases in the United States and other federal systems. In 2006, Barry became the first social scientist to receive a Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of his contribution to both scholarship and policymaking. Barry is a fellow of the National Academic of Public Administration and has served on NAPA panels as well as the 2013-14 National Resource Council Committee on Shale Gas Risks and Governance. He teaches public management, environmental policy, and a seminar on climate change at the Ford School.

Mary Anne Hitt
Director, Beyond Coal, Sierra Club

Mary Anne Hitt is director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, which is working to eliminate the pollution caused by coal throughout its life cycle, and repower the nation with clean energy. In 2012, Mother Jones described the campaign as “a grassroots rebellion [that] is winning the biggest victory yet on climate change.” Mary Anne previously served as executive director of Appalachian Voices (where she was one of the creators of the award-winning campaign iLoveMountains.org), the Ecology Center, and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project.

Mary Anne was listed in 2013 by the Washingtonian as part of “The New Guard: People Who are Shaping Washington” in Obama’s second term. She is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program. She received her Master’s of Science from the University of Montana, where she received the Len and Sandy Sargent Environmental Advocacy Award, and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, where she was a Whittle Scholar and the founder of the campus group Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK), and where she later received the 2008 Notable UT Woman Award. She grew up in the mountains of east Tennessee and now lives in West Virginia with her family.

Eric Holdsworth
Director of Climate Programs, Edison Electric Institute

Eric Holdsworth is a leading expert on the issue of global climate change, with over 20 years of experience in this field. Currently, he is the Director of Climate Programs at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), where he helps oversee EEI’s involvement in the global climate change issue. In that capacity, he helps direct the development and executing of strategies to shape the development of national climate policy consistent with EEI principles, including promoting policies to accelerate the development of clean energy and energy-efficient technologies. 

In addition, Eric manages EEI’s involvement in the international arena, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations and related processes. He also oversees EEI’s involvement in state and regional climate efforts, as well as on greenhouse gas reporting and related standards. Eric has written and spoken extensively on the subject of climate change and its potential impacts on the electric power sector.

Eric came to EEI following nine years at the Global Climate Coalition, an industry trade association, where he served as Associate Director. Eric holds a Masters in Business Administration, with a specialization in International Management, from the American Graduate School of International Management, also known as “Thunderbird.” He also holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University, where he specialized in Latin America.

Panel Discussion: Harnessing Popular Opinion for a Sustainable Energy Policy

Vicki Arroyo
Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center

Vicki Arroyo is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law where she also serves as the Assistant Dean of Centers and Institutes and as the Director of the Environmental Law Program.

She oversees the Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level. She teaches “experiential” environmental law courses to both law and public policy students.

She previously served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, most recently as the Pew Center’s Vice President for Domestic Policy and General Counsel. For over a decade, she directed the Pew Center’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and domestic policy programs. She also served as Managing Editor of the Center’s book and oversaw publication of numerous reports and policy briefs.

Ralph Becker
Mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah

Over 30 years ago, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was taken by the same allure that brought many res­i­dents to Utah’s Cap­i­tal City, drawn by the area’s unique mix of geo­graphic beauty, met­ro­pol­i­tan energy and year-round recre­ational opportunities.

Ralph earned two grad­u­ate degrees at his new home’s Uni­ver­sity of Utah – a Master’s in Plan­ning and a JD – after com­plet­ing under­grad­u­ate work at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in 1973. He served as the Utah State Plan­ning Coor­di­na­tor under Gov­er­nor Scott Math­e­son and then went on to launch his own Salt Lake City-based con­sult­ing firm, Bear West, spe­cial­iz­ing in com­mu­nity plan­ning, envi­ron­men­tal assess­ment, pub­lic lands use and pub­lic involve­ment before act­ing on his long-held desire to serve the public.

Elected to the Utah State Leg­is­la­ture in 1996, Ralph was a mem­ber of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for 11 years and bat­tled for the issues most impor­tant to his Avenues con­stituents. He served in leg­isla­tive lead­er­ship posi­tions for most of that tenure, includ­ing five years as House Minor­ity Leader.

In 2008, Ralph brought this con­sid­er­able body of edu­ca­tion, expe­ri­ence and engage­ment with local issues to his new office of Mayor of Salt Lake City.

In his first term, Mayor Becker has greatly expanded trans­porta­tion options for the City’s res­i­dents and vis­i­tors, with a spe­cial focus on pub­lic tran­sit, trails and bike­ways. He also cham­pi­oned the state’s first munic­i­pal pro­tec­tions in the areas of employ­ment and hous­ing for the City’s LGBT com­mu­nity – an effort that has since been repli­cated by Salt Lake County and over a dozen local gov­ern­ments through­out Utah. Under Mayor Becker’s lead­er­ship, City gov­ern­ment has become much more trans­par­ent, and new oppor­tu­ni­ties have been cre­ated for res­i­dents to engage and par­tic­i­pate in the deci­sion mak­ing process.

Mayor Becker is a leader who has made, and will con­tinue to make, col­lab­o­ra­tion and part­ner­ships an essen­tial ele­ment in his efforts to see Salt Lake City as an even more vibrant, liv­able and sus­tain­able com­mu­nity for its cur­rent res­i­dents and into the future.

Ralph is an avid out­doors­man who, when he is away from work, can be found back­coun­try ski­ing, river run­ning or back­pack­ing. He is also the proud father of two sons and a 19-year-old granddaughter.

Phil Sharp
President, Resources for the Future

Phil Sharp became president of Resources for the Future (RFF) on September 1, 2005. His career in public service includes 10 terms as a member of the US House of Representatives from Indiana, and a lengthy appointment on the faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

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 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 Energy Foundation and on the external advisory board of the MIT Energy Initiative. He previously served on the board of directors of the Duke Energy Corporation from 2007 to 2014. Sharp was appointed to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and served from 2010 to 2012. He was also appointed to the National Academies’ Committee on America’s Climate Choices and served from 2008 to 2011. In addition, he served on the international advisory board of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program from 2007 to 2012 and chaired the external advisory committee for the MIT Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study from 2008 to 2010.

From 2002 to 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 to 2006, on the board of the Electric Power Research Institute from 2002 to 2006, and on the National Research Council's Board of Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES) from 2001 to 2007. He was co-chair of the energy board of the Keystone Center, was a member of the Cummins Science and Technology advisory council, served on the advisory board of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), and 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 PhD in government from Georgetown University in 1974.

Malcolm Woolf
Senior Vice President, Advanced Energy Economy

Malcolm Woolf joined the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) in September 2012. As senior vice president of policy and government affairs, Malcolm works to influence public policy, foster advanced energy innovation and business growth, and provide a unified voice for all segments of the advanced energy industry.

Before joining AEE, Malcolm served as a Cabinet-level official with Governor Martin O'Malley. As head of the Maryland Energy Administration from 2007-2012, he helped enact and implement one of the most ambitious sets of energy goals in the nation, including the EmPOWER Maryland Act seeking a 15% reduction in peak demand and overall electricity consumption, a 20% renewable standard, and a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve these goals, MEA launched numerous innovative new programs to promote greater use of advanced energy technologies. Several of these programs have received national recognition, including the Generating Clean Horizons program that was named one of the “top 25 innovations in American government” by Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School.

An energy expert with experience at the national level and in the private sector, Woolf was the chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), has testified before Congress on several occasions, and is frequently featured in national media. He was recently appointed by Secretary Chu to serve on the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Advisory Board.

Woolf has extensive energy experience both within federal and state government, as well as private legal practice. Woolf previously served as the director of the National Governors Association's Natural Resources Committee and counsel to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He also was a senior attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and an associate with the law firms of Winston & Strawn and Piper & Marbury L.L.P.