Dr. Philip Sharp

Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University


Dr. Philip Sharp is a Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and teaches “Climate Policy Making in the US” at the School of International and Public Affairs. For most of his professional life, Sharp has been involved with public policy — serving in Congress (D-IN) for twenty years; teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; leading Resources for the Future; serving on a number of national policy commissions and participating in policy studies at MIT and with the National Research Council; and serving on several corporate and non-profit boards of directors. Throughout his career, he has focused on energy issues, and for last decade on climate policy.   In 2016, he was awarded the James Schlesinger Energy Security Medal by the US Secretary of Energy. At Georgetown University he received his BS from the School of Foreign Service in 1964 and his PhD in government in 1974. He taught political science at Ball State University before his election to Congress in 1974 as a “Watergate Baby.” 
For two decades in Congress he was engaged in nearly every major piece of energy legislation — oil, gas, and nuclear regulation; automobile fuel efficiency standards; appliance efficiency standards; incentives for renewable energy; building the strategic petroleum reserve; restructuring the electric utility industry, etc. 
As Chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, he played major leadership roles in the adoption of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and the 1992 Energy Policy Act. In addition to teaching at the Kennedy School of Government, he served as Director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics and participated in the Harvard Electricity Policy Group.
In July 2016, Sharp retired after a decade as President of Resources for the Future — Washington’s  oldest think tank dealing with environmental, energy, and natural resource issues.  Sharp has previously served on several corporate and NGO boards of directors including Duke Energy Corp and EPRI (The Electric Power Research Institute). Currently, he is a member of the board of the Energy Foundation. He served on the Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nuclear Power. For the National Academies, he served on its major study “America’s Climate Choices.”  At MIT, he currently serves on the External Advisory Board for MITEI, the MIT Energy Initiative, and has chaired advisory committees for several studies, including the Future of Nuclear Power, the Future of Solar Energy and the Future of the Utility.