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Paul Beaton

Study Director & Senior Program Officer
National Academy of Sciences


Areas of Expertise:

Biofuels, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Energy Economics, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Environmental Policy, GHGs, Innovation, Power Sector, Regulation, Renewables, Smart Grid, Solar, Tax Policy, Transmission, Transportation, Wind

National Academy of Sciences expert on clean and renewable power and energy efficiency.

Paul Beaton first joined STEP in 2010 as a prestigious Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow and returned in 2011 as a program officer before becoming a senior program officer in 2014. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation and in science and technology policy, particularly in the areas of energy and natural resources. At STEP he works on a spectrum of issues from tax and energy to intellectual property.

Prior to joining STEP, Paul earned a combined J.D. and Master of Environmental Management from the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where he received the Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. Scholarship, a Dean’s Scholarship, and a Sonnenschein Scholarship. At Yale he focused primarily on energy and climate change law and policy, authoring research on the climate effects of US agriculture policy and an analysis of policy and structure at the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Paul also worked with a negotiating team and heads of state at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark and counseled advisors to Ecuador’s constitutional assembly on drafting national environmental legislation. He also helped form a climate policy NGO in Costa Rica, served on the executive board of The Yale Journal on Regulation, as an executive officer of the Yale Environmental Law Association, helped revise a textbook on business law for entrepreneurs, and conducted economic and policy research through the Yale Center for Business and the Environment.

A native of North Carolina, Paul earned his B.Sc. (summa cum laude) from UNC-Asheville where he received a congressionally awarded Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the William and Ida Friday Award at graduation for community service, and was elected to Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society. Paul also received the University Fellows Grant, which along with a NSF grant, supported his research on the impacts of industrial substances that have replaced ozone-depleting chemicals since the enactment of the Montreal Protocol. Following his undergraduate work, Paul worked as a special guest research chemist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology before returning to North Carolina to co-established the state’s first biodiesel production facility.

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