Daniel C. Esty

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Daniel Esty
Dan Esty - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011.jpg
Born (1959-06-06) June 6, 1959 (age 55)
Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater Harvard University
University of Oxford
Yale University
Political party
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Henderson Esty

Daniel C. Esty is an American environmental lawyer. From 2011 to 2014, he served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, with a joint appointment in the Yale Law School, and director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy.

Esty is a sought after commentator on business, energy and climate change issues, and has been quoted in various publications such as The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Scientific American, and others. He is a frequent commentator on NPR and has appeared on national TV talk shows such as The Colbert Report, The O'Reilly Factor, and Glenn Beck, to speak on issues of business innovation and the environment. One author has characterized his views as radical centrist in orientation.[1]

Esty earned his A.B. from Harvard College and J.D. from Yale Law School. He also studied as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, from which he received an M.Phil.

He is married to Elizabeth Esty, the U.S. Congresswoman for Connecticut's 5th congressional district, and former member of the Connecticut House of Representatives.[2][3][4]


Esty is the author or editor of ten books and numerous articles [5] on environmental policy issues and the relationships between environment and corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, globalization, governance, and development. His 2006, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage,[6] argues that pollution control and natural resource management have become critical elements of marketplace success and explains how leading-edge companies have folded environmental thinking into their core business strategies. This book was followed by Green to Gold Business Playbook,: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function, Wiley Press, ISBN 978-0-470-59075-1.

Professional History[edit]

Prior to joining the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Esty was the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University. He held faculty appointments in both Yale’s Environment and Law Schools. He also served as the Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for Business & Environment at Yale.

Esty was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Economics (1993–94), served in a variety of senior positions on the US Environmental Protection Agency (1989–93), and practiced law in Washington, DC (1986–89).

Esty spent the 2000-01 academic year as a Visiting Professor at INSEAD, the European business school in Fontainebleau, France. In 2002, Professor Esty received the American Bar Association Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy for “pioneering a data-driven approach to environmental decision making” and developing the global Environmental Sustainability Index. He served four years as an elected Planning and Zoning Commissioner in his hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut. He also served as an energy and environmental policy advisor on the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign and as a member of the Presidential Transition Team.

He has advised companies across the world on energy, environment, and sustainability issues and serves as the Chairman of Esty Environmental Partners,[7] a corporate environmental strategy group based in New Haven, Connecticut. He sits on the Board of Directors of the American Farmland Trust, Resources for the Future, and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment.

In March 2011, Esty was appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy to be Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting Connecticut’s environment, natural resources, and wildlife and for maintaining Connecticut’s state parks and forests.[8][9] In April 2011, Esty co-authored an op-ed for The New York Times entitled "Pain at the Pump. We need more". The article advocated higher carbon taxes so as to accelerate technological change.[10] The article proved problematic as the time Governor Dannel Malloy was proposing an unpopular increase in the Connecticut gas tax.[11][12] Malloy later withdrew the gas tax increase from his budget package as a result of legislative opposition.


  1. ^ Satin, Mark (2004). Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now. Westview Press and Basic Books. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-8133-4190-3. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ Altimari, Daniela (2011-04-11). "Elizabeth Esty makes it official: She's running for Congress in CT-5 - Capitol Watch". Blogs.courant.com. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ [5]
  8. ^ Department of Environmental Protection (2012-06-01). "Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection". Ct.gov. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  9. ^ Department of Environmental Protection (2011-02-10). "DEP: Governor Malloy Selects Daniel Esty to Head Newly Fused Department of Energy & Environmental Protection". Ct.gov. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  10. ^ Daniel C. Esty and Michael E. Porter (April 27, 2011). "Pain at the Pump? We Need More". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Gov. budget plan may crash over gas tax". WTNH. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  12. ^ "Esty op-ed on long-held idea prompts fresh GOP indignation". The Connecticut Mirror. Ctmirror.org. 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2012-06-07.