Alumni Profile

Robert Brenner
Robert Brenner
Former Director of Policy Analysis & Review, Office of Air & Radiation, EPA; Former Senior Fellow, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University; President, Brenner Strategies
MPA, Class of 1977
For over 30 years, Rob Brenner has been a national leader for clean air and clean energy policy in the United States.  In recognition of that role, he received a Distinguished Career Service Award from Administrator Lisa Jackson upon his retirement from EPA in August 2011.  Rob is currently a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, where he is leading a clean air and innovative technology initiative.
From 1988 to 2011, Rob was Director of the Office of Policy Analysis and Review, at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  He played a key role in the development, Congressional passage and implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 – the most significant and far-reaching environmental law passed in the last twenty-five years.  Since passage of that landmark law, Rob has focused on innovative, cost-effective ways to implement its provisions, particularly through the use of market-based approaches such as emissions trading and other economic incentives.  He was a leader in EPA's efforts to promote development of new, more effective pollution-control technologies such as diesel retrofits, and pioneered the use of economic analysis in evaluating the effectiveness of EPA programs.
Rob has also been very active in nurturing and developing voluntary partnerships with local organizations to help them reduce pollution in their neighborhoods.  The flagship program is Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE), a cross-media toxics reduction initiative.  Rob successfully incubated this concept, which is now an established EPA program helping nearly 100 communities nationwide to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals.
Both President George H.W. Bush in 1993 and President Clinton in 1998 conferred on Rob the rank of meritorious senior executive.  In 2003, he received the Distinguished Executive Award for “sustained extraordinary accomplishment” from President George W. Bush.
Before starting at EPA in 1979, Rob worked at Princeton University’s Center for International Studies. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Economics and Public Policy from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.