The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) is pleased to welcome Jeffrey R. Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Air and Radiation, and Susan Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as EPIC’s inaugural Visiting Fellows in Policy Practice. In this role, the two will provide invaluable perspectives and expertise in a series of events, workshops and public discussions, as well as serve as resources for students and the Institute.

“We are thrilled to welcome two premier energy and environmental policy experts to the University of Chicago and look forward to learning from their experience and insight,” says Michael Greenstone, Director of EPIC and the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics. “Over the last decade, Jeff and Sue have played high-profile roles in major public policy debates over energy and environmental issues. As Visiting Fellows in Policy Practice, they will help us bridge the divide between research and policy as we work to confront today’s greatest energy challenges with innovative, data-driven solutions.”

Jeffrey Holmstead is a partner at Bracewell, LLP, where he heads the firm’s Environmental Strategies Group. During the George W. Bush Administration, he served as the Assistant Administrator of EPA for Air and Radiation. There, he was the architect of several of the Agency’s most important initiatives affecting energy sectors and energy use, including the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the Clean Air Diesel Rule, the Mercury Rule for power plants and the reform of the New Source Review program.

Earlier, Holmstead served on the White House Staff of President George H.W. Bush. As Associate Counsel to the President, he was involved in the passage and implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He now draws on his significant experience in policy development, administrative and legislative advocacy, and litigation to advise a wide range of energy companies on climate, Clean Air Act, and energy issues.

“With the University of Chicago’s long-time commitment to economics and public policy, EPIC plays an important role in developing creative, market-based solutions to today’s most important energy and environmental challenges,” says Holmstead. “I’m eager to learn from the dedicated faculty and students at EPIC, and to share the lessons I have learned from more than 25 years of working on environmental and energy issues. I hope that this collaboration will lead to better informed regulations and policies that will allow us to reach our environmental goals and preserve access to affordable, reliable energy.”

Susan Tierney is a highly-regarded expert on energy policy and economics, specializing in the electric and gas industries. As a former Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOE under President Bill Clinton, state cabinet officer for environmental affairs in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Public Utilities Commissioner, and a consultant advising clients in the public and private sectors, Tierney has deep and varied experience that allows her to provide invaluable knowledge on energy markets, as well as on economic and environmental regulation and strategy.

Currently, Tierney serves as a Senior Advisor at Analysis Group, where she has consulted with companies, governments, nonprofits, and other organizations on issues including industry structure, market analyses, utility ratemaking and regulatory policy, clean-energy regulatory policy, wholesale and retail market design, energy infrastructure, and resource planning and procurement. She also chairs the External Advisory Board of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and serves on the board of directors of many organizations, including the World Resources Institute, Resources for the Future, the Energy Foundation, and ClimateWorks Foundation.

“Washington and state houses throughout the country need unbiased and evidence-based research more than ever to provide the groundwork for rational and successful policies,” says Tierney. “EPIC and the University of Chicago support that kind of high-quality and relevant research, and are educating the smart, passionate leaders of the future who will need to turn that knowledge into action. I am so looking forward to spending time on campus and sharing with researchers and students the insights needed to make some real change in this difficult political environment.”

As part of their role as Visiting Fellows in Policy Practice, Holmstead and Tierney will lead a series of events focused on providing a range of political perspectives on how to turn research into policy. Cutting-edge research coming out of the University of Chicago will serve as the launching pad to frame these deep-dive conversations, as the researchers, Holmstead and Tierney navigate ways to translate the research into solutions. The first event as part of this series will be announced next fall.