David Rank, who retired in June after a 27-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, has joined the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) as a senior fellow. Rank’s diplomatic career spanned the administrations of five presidents, serving most recently as acting ambassador to China. Rank served six separate assignments in greater China, including in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, as well as in Afghanistan, Greece and Mauritius. He will now work closely with EPIC as the institute works to further expand its research globally.

“David is very knowledgeable on a wide range of global challenges, including energy and the environment, and is dedicated to enhancing international cooperation to advance solutions,” says Michael Greenstone, director of EPIC and the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work together.”
Of his new work with EPIC, Rank says, “Now, more than ever, it is critical that researchers and policymakers work together to use data and evidence to tackle complex challenges. Globally, no challenge is greater than the need to achieve robust growth while simultaneously reducing emissions of carbon dioxide that cause climate change and pollution that affects human health. These are problems that require a unique combination of research, outreach and partnership. I’m excited to be helping EPIC advance this important work.”
Along with his overseas posts, Rank held several domestic positions, including Director of the State Department’s Office of Afghanistan Affairs, senior advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Korea desk officer. From 2002-2003, he was a Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. In 2015, Rank received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award for his role in securing the release of the only American service member held by the enemy in Afghanistan.