Deborah Gordon

Director and Senior Fellow
Energy and Climate Program
Gordon is director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where her research focuses on oil and climate change issues in North America and globally.

MPP, University of California, Berkeley
BS, University of Colorado, Boulder

  • English

Deborah Gordon is the director of the Energy and Climate Program and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A chemical engineer by training, Gordon’s research focuses on oil and climate change issues, both in North America and globally. Her current research has spearheaded the development of the Oil-Climate Index, a first-of-its-kind tool to compare the climate impacts of global oils.

After beginning her career with Chevron, Gordon has managed an active energy and environmental consulting practice, taught at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and directed the Energy Policy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She is a policy entrepreneur who developed motor vehicle feebates while at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory under a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Gordon has testified before Congress, lectures regularly, and has served on National Academy of Sciences committees and the Transportation Research Board Energy Committee. Gordon is currently serving as a nonresident senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

Gordon’s publications span the field of oil, transportation, climate change, and the environment. She is the author of two books, Steering a New Course and Two Billion Cars (with Daniel Sperling), and has contributed book chapters in edited volumes. Gordon’s articles and quotes have appeared in the National Interest, the Hill, Pacific Standard, Financial Times, Scientific American, International Economy Magazine, About Oil, the Boao Forum for Asia, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Time , the Washington Post, and the New York Times. She has also been featured on ABC News, PBS Great Decisions, NPR’s To the Point, E&E TV On Point, and in numerous other media outlets.

The Carnegie

The world of oils is becoming increasingly complex. Compared to a decade ago when there were very few types of oils, new technologies such as fracking have allowed around 300 new oils to come on-stream. Figuring out which oils are the most carbon intensive – depending also on how they are refined and used – has become very complex but also very important for investors and regulatory agencies. Carnegie Endowment, in conjunction with Stanford University, and the University of Calgary has developed a first-of-its-kind Oil-Climate Index (OCI) to compare these resources. Tom Carver sat down with Debbie Gordon, the head of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate program to discuss the ways the OCI describes the new world of unconventional oils.

The Carnegie Podcast is a regular series hosted by Tom Carver featuring commentary and analysis from Carnegie experts on critical global issues.

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