The World Resources Institute (WRI) announced today that Dr. Kevin Kennedy will lead its U.S. Climate Initiative, within the Climate and Energy Program, starting in April 2011.

Kennedy will oversee the Institute’s domestic climate and energy strategy, working with federal agencies, Congress, state governments, businesses, and other stakeholders to advance a clean energy economy and respond to climate change. In addition to developing cost-effective, low-carbon policies, Kennedy will support WRI’s work with top American companies to develop new clean energy innovation strategies.

Kennedy joins WRI from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), where he served as Assistant Executive Officer in charge of the Office of Climate Change, overseeing planning and policy elements in the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).

Jennifer Morgan, WRI’s Climate and Energy Program director, said, “Kevin’s practical experience in developing the country’s first state-wide policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be an asset in finding realistic solutions to America’s climate and energy challenges. As the United States continues to develop its approach to clean energy and climate change, we’re excited to have him lead our U.S. team.”

Prior to joining CARB, Kennedy was at the California Energy Commission from 2000 to 2007, serving as special advisor to Commissioner Jeffrey D. Byron and special advisor to Energy Commission Chairman Joseph Desmond.

He also served as the program manager for the 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report proceeding, which culminated in the commission’s adopting the final report, and provided a comprehensive review of California's energy situation and recommendations for energy-related policies.

“I am delighted to join WRI’s climate team, where I can apply my experiences from the California Air Resources Board to help develop clean energy policies on the national stage. I’ll miss ARB, but know that I’m leaving behind a strong team, who will continue the implementation of California’s program. I am looking forward to new opportunities and challenges as I head to Washington,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy holds a Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at University of California, Berkeley, and has more than 20 years experience in energy and environmental policy.

At WRI, Kennedy joins Siddarthan Balasubramania, director, Major Emerging Economies Initiative, and Edward Cameron, director, International Climate Initiative, who were recently hired to advance WRI’s domestic and international climate strategies.

WRI’s Climate and Energy Program has recently grown to more than 50 people, who use independent, non-partisan policy research and analysis to advance effective international and U.S. actions on energy and climate change.