Dr. Michael K. Dorsey

Interim Program Director, Energy and Environment Program , Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Dr. Michael K. Dorsey is a recognized expert on global energy, environment, finance and sustainability matters. In 1997, in Glasgow, Scotland, Dorsey was bestowed Rotary International’s highest honor, The Paul Harris Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity. Dr. Dorsey is a “Full member” of the Club of Rome and in 2013 the National Journal named him one of 200 US “energy and environment expert insiders”. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Yale and the Johns Hopkins University, presently Dr. Dorsey is Senior Program Officer for Sustainability at the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Dorsey is also the Senior Innovation Fellow and the Director of Energy and Sustainability Programs at Duke University’s Innovation and Technology Policy Lab (the ITPLab).

Dr. Dorsey is a serial organization builder and leader in for-profit, non-profit, scholarly and governmental realms. In the for-profit arena, Dr. Dorsey advises several pools of private equity finance on renewable energy, infrastructure and illiquid asset matters globally. In non-profit realms, in 1997 Dorsey helped to co-create the northern California headquartered Center for Environmental Health. In 2005 Dorsey and a partner co-launched IslandsFirst.org at urging of the late Ambassador Stuart Beck—Palau’s first permanent representative to the United Nations. Dr. Dorsey sits on a number of non-profit boards, most notably on the national board of the Sierra Club—one of the largest and oldest US environmental organizations. In the scholarly world, for the first decade of the 21st century Dr. Dorsey was a professor in the environmental studies program at Dartmouth College. He has also been guest faculty at Wesleyan University (USA), the University KwaZuluNatal and the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa); Kungl Tekniska Högskolan (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden); and Erasmus University’s Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) Sustainability & Climate Change Research Unit (The Netherlands).

Dr. Dorsey’s significant government engagement began in 1992 as a member of the U.S. State Department Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, “The Earth Summit.” From 1994-96 Dorsey was a task force member of President William Jefferson Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. From April 2007 until November 2008 Dorsey was a member of Senator Barack Obama’s energy and environment Presidential campaign team. In 2010 Lisa Jackson, the US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) Administrator, appointed Dr. Dorsey to the EPA’s National Advisory Committee (NAC). Jackson reappointed Dr. Dorsey to the US-EPA NAC in 2012 and Administrator McCarthy reappointed him again in 2014. Further in 2014, after more than two decades of collaboration and engagement with the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS)—a specialized unit of UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), Dr. Dorsey was designated UN-NGLS’ advisor on “climate, energy sustainability and SIDS (Small Island Developing States)”.