Stanford Creates $7 Million Interdisciplinary Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
Stanford Law School and the Graduate School of Business today announced the establishment of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, an interdisciplinary center to study and advance the development and deployment of clean energy technologies through innovative policy and finance.
The Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance will be housed at both the Law School and the Graduate School of Business, bringing together the best minds from both disciplines to advance the development, financing, management and regulation of the clean energy technology sector. The center is the latest of Stanford University's efforts to address comprehensively the global energy challenge-from advancing energy efficiency to developing and deploying renewable energy, to reducing the effects of fossil fuels. The center's focus on policy and finance solutions will complement the work of other institutes, as well: the Precourt Institute for Energy; the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy; the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies' Program on Energy and Sustainable Development; and the Stanford Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis Center at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
The center has been made possible by a $7 million gift from Stanford alumni Thomas Steyer (MBA '83) and his wife, Kat Taylor (JD/MBA '86). Its executive director will be Dan Reicher (JD '83), who has also been appointed professor of the practice of law at the Law School and lecturer at the Graduate School of Business. Reicher was assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy during the Clinton administration. A member of President Obama's transition team, he was most recently director of climate change and energy initiatives at Google. He has strong energy and environmental credentials and extensive experience in government, law, business and venture capital, and the non-profit sector.
"We believe that Stanford is uniquely positioned to change our nation's attitudes and capabilities regarding how we make and use energy. What our university did for the information revolution, it must now do for the energy revolution," said Steyer of his and Taylor's gift.
The TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, a research center within the Precourt Institute for Energy which launched in 2009, was also funded by generous support from Thomas Steyer and Kat Taylor. Steyer is a Stanford trustee and managing partner of Farallon Capital Management; Taylor is active in a variety of public benefit and philanthropic ventures. Steyer founded Farallon in 1986. He is also managing director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based private equity firm. He previously worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
With a strong base at both Stanford Law School and the Graduate School of Business, the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance will provide a broad platform for research on energy policy and finance-particularly legislative, regulatory and business tools—that increase public support for and the flow of capital to clean energy technologies. It will produce world-class research for policymakers, the business community, and technology leaders to help inform and resolve energy problems at the global, national, state and local levels. It will help coordinate related work being done in Stanford's other centers, schools and departments to enhance teaching, training and research across the campus.
"Energy may be our most pressing public policy problem today," said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. "Our success in addressing it will determine much about our future — both economically and environmentally. And any solutions require working across disciplines and understanding the critical role of both law and finance in making technological innovations workable. That being so, it is really quite astonishing that there is nothing like this new center on energy policy and finance at any other law school. We are absolutely delighted to launch this collaborative effort with the Stanford Graduate School of Business and expect to make strong contributions to national and global efforts to develop sustainable energy."
By collaborating with the Graduate School of Business, the center will leverage business school expertise to help resolve the challenge of financing clean technologies from conception to market and educate future leaders of managed organizations to incorporate sustainability in operations and strategy. Financing can be exceptionally difficult since clean technology innovations may require billions of dollars to scale up from venture capital-backed pilot projects to commercially financeable production facilities. "Interdisciplinary centers like this help us create the conditions for innovation to flourish, so that faculty and students can help drive solutions to pressing global problems such as creating more sustainable energy systems," said Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean Garth Saloner.
"U.S. and global energy systems are plagued by serious economic, environmental and national security problems," said the center's executive director, Professor Dan Reicher. "In their resolution lie vast opportunities for job creation, pollution control and reduced international tensions. The successful integration of policy and finance is key to addressing these problems and seizing the unprecedented opportunities. We need smart policy to set the stage for fundamental change in our energy systems and innovative finance to make things happen-from early stage innovation to the broad-scale deployment of clean energy technologies. I look forward to helping the center become a catalyst for an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future."
Reicher added, "I'm particularly pleased that Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor are backing the center given their long-standing commitment to clean energy as well as their recent success in building a bipartisan coalition-spanning the business, environmental, environmental justice, and national security communities-that ensured the continued implementation of California's path-breaking climate change program."
About Dan Reicher
Reicher has more than 25 years of experience in energy and environmental technology, policy, finance and law, including serving in the Clinton administration at the Department of Energy (DOE) as assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. He recently was a member of President Obama's transition team, where he focused on the energy portions of the stimulus package and was an adviser to the Obama campaign on energy and climate issues. Reicher comes to Stanford University from Google Inc., where he served since 2007 as director of climate change and energy initiatives.
Reicher is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, co-chairman of the board of the American Council on Renewable Energy, and a member of the boards of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the Apollo Alliance, and the University of California-Davis Energy Efficiency Center.
Before his position at Google, Reicher served as president and co-founder of New Energy Capital Corp., a private equity firm funded by the California State Teachers Retirement System and Vantage Point Venture Partners to invest in clean energy projects. He also served as executive vice president of Northern Power Systems, one of the nation's oldest renewable energy companies. Reicher was also an adjunct professor at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Vermont Law School.
Reicher has also held several positions with the DOE, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He also worked for the Massachusetts Attorney General, served as a law clerk to a federal district court judge in Boston and as a legal assistant in the Hazardous Waste Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and was on the staff of President Carter's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island. Reicher holds a BA in biology from Dartmouth College and a JD from Stanford Law School. He also studied at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and MIT.
About Stanford Graduate School of Business
The Stanford Graduate School of Business has built an international reputation based on its two-year MBA Program, one-year Stanford Sloan Master's Program for mid-career executives, PhD Program, and short-course Executive Education programs for practicing executives. As a research institution, Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty bring cutting-edge management ideas into every classroom. A highly collaborative culture, combined with a strategically small student body, creates a vigorous intellectual environment and compelling learning experience. In 2007, the school introduced a new MBA curriculum that serves as a model of thought leadership for management education. A state-of-the-art business school complex will open in 2010-2011.
About Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School is one of the nation's leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision-makers in law, politics, business and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation's press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and a focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.