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 56)
Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater Harvard University
University of Oxford
Yale University
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Henderson Esty

Daniel C. Esty is an American environmental lawyer and policymaker. He is the Hillhouse professor at Yale University with appointments at the Yale Law School and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

From 2011 to 2014, Esty served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), where he developed a reputation for innovative policies including using "lean" reviews to make the permitting process faster, more efficient, and more effective. He also launched a series of breakthrough renewable power and energy efficiency finance programs, including Connecticut's first-in-the-nation Green Bank and statewide property assessed clean energy (C-PAC) finance system.

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 New York Times, 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. in economics 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 in philosophy and politics.

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]


Esty is the author or editor of ten books and numerous articles [3] on environmental policy issues and the relationships between environment and corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, globalization, governance, and development. His prizewinning book published in 2006, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage,[4] 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 adviser 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 the Esty Group,[5] a corporate sustainability strategy group based in New Haven, Connecticut. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Energy Future Coalition, Resources for the Future, and the Connecticut branch of The Nature Conservancy.


  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. ^ 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. 
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