Panel on Institutional Investment in Fossil Fuels - POSTPONED

Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 2:00pm
Speaker Information: 
The panel includes Tom Steyer, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Don Elliott, Robert Rosenkranz, Tony Leiserowitz and Elizabeth Kolbert as moderator.

A world-class panel has been assembled to discuss, from multiple standpoints, whether or not educational institutions should invest in the fossil fuel industry, through the lens of Yale University.

Over the last year, the question of fossil fuel divestment has risen to historic prominence as academic institutions have begun to evaluate whether fossil fuels meet standards for ethical investment given their impact on climate change and other social harms.

Historically, Yale University has been a leader for its peer institutions in both endowment performance and the establishment of ethical investment guidelines. Yale was, in 1972, the first major university to abandon the role of a passive investor and adopt guidelines for ethical investment. Likewise, the Yale Model of portfolio management (also known as the Endowment Model) has been widely imitated by other educational institutions across the world.

Students, alumni, faculty, and all members of the Yale community are cordially invited to attend this event and to learn more about this critical issue from a group of high-profile experts, who are each members of the Yale community themselves.

Panelists include: 

- Robert Rosenkranz ‘62 

- E. Donald Elliott ‘70 LAW ‘74

- Thomas Steyer ‘79 

- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse ‘78 [D-RI]

- Anthony Leiserowitz

- Elon Bolms

Elizabeth Kolbert ‘83 will moderate the discussion as the expert group breaks down this complex and current issue from different standpoints. Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. Her stories for the magazine have included political profiles, book reviews, commentary and extensive writing on climate change. Her three-part series on global warming, “The Climate of Man,” won the 2006 National Magazine Award for Public Interest, the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, and the 2006 National Academies Communication Award.

Robert Rosenkranz ‘62 is a philanthropist and CEO of Delphi Financial Group, an insurance holding company, and the founder of a group of investment and private equity partnerships. He is a member of the Yale University Council and the Dean’s Council of the Yale School of Architecture. Rosenkranz founded the Rosenkranz Foundation; one initiative of the foundation is the monthly debate series, Intelligence Squared. In late 2009, Yale University dedicated its new building, Rosenkranz Hall, in recognition of Rosenkranz’s philanthropic work.

E. Donald Elliott ‘70 LAW ‘74 is Professor (Adjunct) of Law at Yale Law School and a leading academic scholar and practitioner in the fields of administrative and environmental law. From 1989 to 1991, Elliott served as Assistant Administrator and General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 1993, he was named to the first endowed chair in environmental law and policy at a major American law school, the Julien and Virginia Cornell Chair in Environmental Law and Litigation at Yale.

Thomas Steyer is an American asset manager, philanthropist and environmentalist. Steyer is the founder and former co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management. Farallon is the 12th largest hedge fund in the world, and the firm’s institutional investors are primarily college endowments and foundations. Gifts by Steyer and his wife have led to creation of the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University and the Energy Sciences Institute on Yale University West Campus. Steyer serves on the Board of Trustees at Stanford University.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse ‘78 is the United States Senator for the state of Rhode Island. Sheldon served as Rhode Island’s Director of Business Regulation under Governor Sundlun before being recommended by Senator Pell and nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Rhode Island’s United States Attorney in 1994. is a member of the Budget Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW); the Judiciary Committee; the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; and the Special Committee on Aging. Sheldon is the chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Oversight. 

Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz is Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is a widely recognized expert on American and international public opinion on global warming. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program, the World Economic Forum, and other distinguished bodies.


Yale Law School, Auditorium See map
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511