past event

Labor Market Impacts of the Energy Transition

The Aspen Economic Strategy Group together with the Reimagining the Economy Project at Harvard Kennedy School present: Local Labor Market Impacts of the Energy Transition.

A transition toward more sustainable energy sources is well underway. But reducing the use of fossil fuels will profoundly disrupt the communities that rely on carbon-intensive industries. Join John Podesta, White House Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, and Gordon Hanson, Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy and Faculty Director, Reimagining the Economy Project, Harvard Kennedy School to discuss policy options for easing adjustment to the energy transition. Melissa S. Kearney, Director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, will moderate.


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Gordon Hanson
Harvard University Kennedy School

Gordon Hanson is the Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He is also Chair of the Social and Urban Policy Area at HKS, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is past co-editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Journal of Development Economics. Hanson received his PhD in economics from MIT in1992 and his BA in economics from Occidental College in 1986. Prior to joining Harvard in 2020, he held the Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations at UC San Diego, where he was founding director of the Center on Global Transformation. Hanson previously served on the economics faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Texas. In his scholarship, Hanson studies the labor market consequences of globalization. He has published extensively in top economics journals, is widely cited for his research by scholars from across the social sciences and is frequently quoted in major media outlets. Hanson’s current research addresses how the China trade shock has affected US local labor markets, the causes and consequences of international migration, and the origins of regional economic divides.

Melissa S. Kearney
Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics, University of Maryland

Melissa S. Kearney is the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is also director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group; a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She serves on the Board of Directors of MDRC and on advisory boards for the Notre Dame Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities and the Smith Richardson Foundation. Kearney previously served as Director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings and as co-chair of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology J-PAL State and Local Innovation Initiative. Kearney’s research focuses on poverty, inequality, and social policy in the United States. Her work is published in leading academic journals and is frequently cited in the press. She is an editorial board member of the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Economic Literature, and Demography; she was previously co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources and a Senior Editor of the Future of Children. Kearney teaches Public Economics at both the undergraduate and Ph.D. level at the University of Maryland. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT.

John Podesta
The White House

John Podesta is the Senior Advisor to President Biden for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation (OCEII) at the White House. He is the Founder and former Chair for the Washington, D.C- based think tank Center for American Progress and a Founder and former Chair of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Podesta served as counselor to President Barack Obama, where he was responsible for coordinating the administration’s climate policy and initiatives. In 2008, he served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition team. He was a member of the U.N. Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Podesta previously served as White House chief of staff to President William J. Clinton. He chaired Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president in 2016. A Chicago native, Podesta is a graduate of Knox College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is currently a visiting professor of law.


Event information
Thu Feb 2, 2023
12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT