Former Congressman Philip Sharp Named New President of Resources for the Future
WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 -- Philip R. Sharp, a long-time member of Congress and a prominent authority on energy and environmental policy, has been appointed president of Resources for the Future, the Washington think tank announced today.
“Phil Sharp is an acknowledged leader in the nation’s energy policy debates and has had an exemplary public-service career over the last 35 years,” said RFF Chair Robert E. Grady. “He knows policymaking from an insider’s perspective and values the meticulous scholarship and objectivity for which RFF is known. We are delighted that as our president, he will continue RFF’s tradition of producing independent, objective analysis to inform the policy process.”
Sharp, formerly a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, was the unanimous choice of the RFF Board of Directors after an extensive international search. He replaces Paul R. Portney, who resigned in June after 10 years as RFF’s president to become dean of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
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 will lead a research and administrative staff of more than 80 persons and will oversee an institutional endowment of nearly $70 million.
Sharp’s career combines extensive academic and political experience. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1995 as a representative from Indiana. Following his decision not to seek an eleventh consecutive term in the House, Sharp joined Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served as Director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics from 1995 to 1998 and again from 2004 until August 2005.
Sharp was Congressional chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy, which issued its findings in a major report, Ending the Energy Stalemate: A Bipartisan Strategy to Meet America’s Energy Challenges, in December 2004.
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 and the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. 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.
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 also chaired the Secretary of Energy’s Electric Systems Reliability Task Force, which issued its report in 1998.
Before accepting the RFF presidency, he was senior policy advisor to the Washington law firm of Van Ness Feldman.
Born in Baltimore in 1942, Sharp was raised in Indiana. He graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1964, and received his Ph.D. in government from Georgetown in 1974.
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