The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), an interdisciplinary research institute focused on confronting energy and environmental challenges, has hired Pete Ogden as a senior advisor and fellow. Ogden will provide new policy ideas and expertise, identify central issues where research might be especially valuable, and help to expand the impact of EPIC both domestically and in key emerging economies, including India.

“Pete’s unique experience and original thinking on climate, energy, and environmental issues has made him a leading and influential voice in policy circles,” says Michael Greenstone, the director of EPIC and a former chief economist for President Obama. “Having someone with his caliber of knowledge and invaluable insight will help us to provide answers to the major energy and climate challenges society faces today.”

Ogden served as director for climate change and environmental affairs on President Obama’s National Security Staff and as senior director for energy and climate change on the Domestic Policy Council. Prior to his time at the White House, Ogden was the chief of staff to Todd Stern, the State Department’s special envoy for climate change, and was intimately involved with international climate negotiations. Before joining the Obama administration in 2009, he was chief of staff to John Podesta at the Center for American Progress, where he also worked on energy, climate, and foreign policy issues. While working with EPIC, Ogden will continue serving as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and senior advisor at the Rhodium Group.

Of Ogden, Carol Browner, a distinguished senior fellow at Center for American Progress and former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and administrator of the EPA, says:

“I’ve worked closely with Pete for many years, and have always been impressed by his desire to drive real change,” she says. “Academics have an important role to play in providing unbiased information to inform the policy process, yet that information doesn’t seem to penetrate government very easily. I expect that the combination of insights from University of Chicago research and Pete’s crisp understanding of how policy gets made will lead to better energy policy in the U.S. and around the world.”

John Deutch, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former Director of Central Intelligence, Department of Energy Undersecretary and Director of Energy Research, says of Ogden:

“Pete Ogden is a respected and influential interpreter and analyst of global energy and climate issues. I know from my work with him during his time at the Department of State, the White House, and the Center for American Progress,” he says. “Pete works amazingly well with a wide range of people and helps them craft the message of their research and analysis that will influence national and international decision makers. EPIC is most fortunate to have added him to its team.”

EPIC, founded in 2011, received new leadership and direction in the fall of 2014 when Michael Greenstone (previously at MIT) took the reins. EPIC is quickly growing to become a top energy and environmental “think-and-do tank.” Harnessing top talent with varied expertise from across the University and its affiliates, the Institute supports research that aims to identify policies that efficiently meet the world’s energy needs, while limiting environmental and social damages.

“I’m thrilled to be joining EPIC ,” says Ogden. “Now more than ever, we need unbiased and rigorously researched and tested information to, make the right decisions on energy and climate issues. By harnessing the University of Chicago’s blue chip academic work in economics, law, and other fields, EPIC is uniquely poised to help not only the United States but countries around the world meet these critical challenges.”

Areas of Focus: Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.