Morgan Bazilian, former lead energy specialist at the World Bank, will join Colorado School of Mines in February as the executive director of the Payne Institute for Earth Resources and research professor of public policy.
As the Institute's inaugural executive director, Dr. Bazilian will be responsible for guiding and disseminating its policy-focused research and analysis, serving as the intellectual leader of the organization, which is dedicated to informing and shaping sound public policy on earth resources, energy and the environment.
Named in honor of longtime energy executive Jim Payne '59 and his wife, Arlene, in recognition of their $5 million investment in 2015, the Payne Institute conducts cutting-edge quantitative policy analysis and educates current and future leaders on the security, governance and policy challenges presented by the rapid changes being witnessed in the energy, environment and natural resource sectors.
"We look forward to achieving Jim and Arlene's vision for the Payne Institute under Morgan's leadership," said Mines President Paul C. Johnson. "Today more than ever, our nation and the world need honest and objective brokers of information and venues to have productive, balanced and science-informed public policy discussions, especially related to earth, energy and the environment. Through the Payne Institute and Morgan's leadership, Mines is positioned to play a leadership role both nationally and internationally."
A widely recognized expert in energy and natural resources planning, investment, security, governance and international affairs, Bazilian has more than two decades of experience in commercial, academic and government settings. He is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Advisory Council on Energy and serves on the Global Advisory Council of the Sustainable Finance Programme at Oxford University. Prior to the World Bank, he was a deputy director at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and a senior diplomat at the United Nations. Earlier in his career, he worked in the Irish government as principal advisor to the energy minister, and was the deputy CEO of the Irish National Energy Agency. He was also the European Union's lead negotiator on low-carbon technology at the UN climate negotiations.
"We are excited to welcome Morgan to campus," said Roderick Eggert, Viola Vestal Coulter Chair in Mineral Economics and interim director of the Economics & Business Division at Mines. "With his range of accomplishments and experience, he will inject energy and insight into our initiatives on resources policy."
Bazilian holds two master's degrees and a PhD in areas related to energy systems and markets, and has been a Fulbright fellow. He holds, or has held, several academic affiliations including at Columbia University, Cambridge University, the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. He is on the editorial boards of Environmental Research Letters, Energy Strategy Reviews and Energy Research and Social Science. He has published over 100 articles in learned journals. His book, "Analytical Methods for Energy Diversity and Security," is considered a seminal piece in the area of energy finance and security. His work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Nature Energy, Nature Climate Change and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
"I am thrilled and honored to be joining what I believe is one of the world's finest energy, environment and natural resources research institutions in the world, and hope to help build the Payne Institute into one of the country's foremost public policy Institutes in these sectors," Bazilian said.