Joe Aldy is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Visiting Fellow at Resources for the Future, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His research focuses on climate change policy, energy policy, and mortality risk valuation. He also serves as the Faculty Chair of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Regulatory Policy Program. In 2009-2010, he served as the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment at the White House. Aldy previously served as a Fellow at Resources for the Future and worked on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. He served as the Co-Director of the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements and Co-Director of the International Energy Workshop before joining the Obama Administration. He earned his doctorate in economics from Harvard University, a masters of environmental management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment, and a bachelors degree from Duke University.
As an Associate Professor, Aldy teaches Economic Analysis of Public Policy (API-102C) and Energy Policy Analysis (API-164). The latter course is part of the Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment, an interdisciplinary program open to Harvard doctoral candidates. Aldy's recent research addresses the environmental, health, and energy impacts of fossil fuel subsidies in developing countries, the effectiveness of subsidies for energy-efficient appliances, the impacts of subsidies for renewable power generation, the competitiveness impacts of climate change policy, institutions to promote the transparency and review of international climate agreements, the heterogeneity in the benefits of reducing mortality risk across individuals, and the implementation of benefit-cost analysis.
As Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment in 2009-2010, Aldy was responsible for the energy and environmental policy portfolio at the National Economic Council, for coordinating policy development and evaluation for the Office of Energy and Climate Change, and for international energy and environmental policy in support of the National Security Council. He served as point in evaluating policy proposals for the clean energy package of the Recovery Act and represented the Presidential Transition Team and Administration in negotiations with Congressional staff on the energy provisions of the Recovery Act. Aldy participated in the Copenhagen and Cancun UN-sponsored climate change negotiations, serving as the Lead White House official at the Cancun talks. At Copenhagen, Aldy negotiated the REDD+ donors agreement to provide $3.5 billion over the 2010-2012 "fast start" period. During the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Aldy coordinated the Obama Administration's economic analysis of the oil spill and the legislative policy response to improve offshore-drilling safety, undertook analysis to inform and participated in the negotiations over the independent claims facility and escrow account, and engaged oil industry stakeholders on the need for improved deepwater well-containment capacity and processes. He coordinated the Administration's deputies process on climate change policy and engaged Congressional staff on the design of cap-and-trade legislation.
At the Council of Economic Advisers, Aldy served as Senior Economist for Environment and Natural Resources, Senior Advisor for the Global Environment, and Staff Economist for Environment and Natural Resources over 1997-2000. With this portfolio, he worked on climate change policy, air quality regulations, world oil and refined petroleum markets, electricity restructuring, environmental issues in China, and sustainable development. Aldy participated in bilateral and multilateral workshops and meetings on climate change policy in Argentina, Bolivia, China, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Korea, Israel, Mexico, and Uzbekistan as well as the fourth and fifth Conferences of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He also served as the lead author for the 1998 report "The Kyoto Protocol and the President's Policies to Address Climate Change: Administration Economic Analysis."