Amy Jaffe, top expert on energy policy, joins ITS-Davis research faculty

Amy Myers Jaffe, a leading expert on the oil industry and influential thought leader on global energy policy, will join the University of California, Davis. She strengthens the university’s leadership on clean technology, sustainable energy and transportation.

On October 1, Jaffe will join UC Davis with a joint appointment in to the Institute of Transportation Studies and the Graduate School of Management. At ITS-Davis she will head the fossil energy component of Next STEPS (Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways) and will play a lead role with our energy policy research. She will also be executive director of a new energy executive education program at the School of Management in collaboration with ITS-Davis. She has spent the past 16 years at Rice University, where she served as director of the Energy Forum at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. She is the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies, as well as associate director of the Rice Energy Program.

Jaffe’s expertise spans oil geopolitics and strategic energy policy, including energy science policy and energy economics. She said she was drawn to UC Davis by its focus on sustainability and the interdisciplinary research and relationships between transportation and energy, and by the opportunity to work near California’s state capital, which is an international pioneer on environmental and public policy issues.

“Amy’s knowledge of the energy industry is the perfect complement to ITS-Davis’ global leadership and expertise on transportation energy and sustainability,” said Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) and professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Jaffe said, “I am excited to join the team at UC Davis to be able to play a greater leadership role in the transition in the energy pathway.

“UC Davis is making an exemplary commitment to sustainability and the kind of world I would like to leave for my children and their children,” she said. “By working at the interface of two great UC Davis institutions, the Graduate School of Management and the Institute of Transportation Studies, I see tremendous opportunities to work with the top minds in the field to forge a bridge between academia and the energy industry to a smarter U.S. policy on energy and climate change.”

Jaffe said the U.S. has a historic opportunity to fashion a national energy policy that addresses both the growing insecurity of Middle East oil supply and the challenges of climate change.

“The United States suddenly finds itself with ample domestic natural gas, emergent automotive technologies and a younger generation of Americans who care deeply about sustainability,” she said. “It is within our grasp to gain an energy future that we can be proud of for future generations.”

Jaffe is widely published, most recently as the co-author of the 2010 book “Oil, Dollars, Debt and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold.” She is a frequent keynote speaker at major energy industry and investment conferences, and has provided testimony on Capitol Hill on energy matters. She is a widely quoted commentator on oil and energy policy in the international media, appearing regularly on TV and in print, including CNN, The New Hour with Jim Lehrer, FOX, MSNBC, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times of London. Her writings have been featured by the New York Times, Dow Jones International and Petroleum Intelligence Weekly.

Jaffe served as a member of the reconstruction and economy working group of the Baker/Hamilton Iraq Study Group. She was project director for the Baker Institute/Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Strategic Energy Policy. She also chaired a working group on nuclear power in the Middle East for the U.S. Institute for Peace-Stinson Center strategic task force on Iran. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Steven Currall, dean and professor at Graduate School of Management, said Jaffe brings unequaled experience, expertise and international media visibility on the energy industry and geopolitical factors affecting energy and sustainability, which will contribute to the School’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurial solutions in the energy and clean tech sectors.

 “Amy will be leading our efforts in education programs in energy and sustainability, and her interdisciplinary work and leadership represents a first-of-its-kind collaboration between our program and the Institute of Transportation Studies,” Currall said.


More information

Read Amy Jaffe’s article in Foreign Policy: “America’s real strategic petroleum reserve — Is relying on Saudi Arabia in times of war a smart tradition or future folly?” Aug. 24, 2012

Watch Jaffe on CNN: “Rising gas prices are starting to affect the 2012 elections.” Her comments are at 1:35 and 2:40 in the video clip. March 2012

Watch a Jaffe speech: “Where I see the conflict lines coming in the oil market in the current economic crisis and the geopolitics of today.” March 2012


About the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (ITS-Davis)

The leading university center in the world on sustainable transportation, ITS-Davis is home to more than 60 affiliated faculty and researchers, 120 graduate students, and has roughly $15 million in funding. While our principal focus is research, we also emphasize education and outreach. We partner with government, industry and non-governmental organizations to inform policy making and business decisions, and advance public discourse on key transportation, energy and environmental issues. We focus on issues important to society.


About the UC Davis Graduate School of Management

Dedicated to preparing innovative leaders for global impact, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management is consistently ranked among the premier business schools in the United States and internationally. The School’s faculty members are globally renowned for their thought leadership and teaching excellence and research in advancing management practices. Each year, the school provides a bold, innovative approach to management education to 110 full-time MBA students at the UC Davis campus and more than 450 part-time MBA students in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. A new Master of Professional Accountancy degree program begins in fall 2012. The Schools offers open enrollment and customized executive education programs. The School is home to the Center for Investor Welfare and Corporate Responsibility, and the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Media Contact:

Sylvia Wright, Institute of Transportation Studies, (530) 304-2697,