Learn about the Nicholas School's academic and administrative leadership.
Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment
Dr. Lori Bennear began a two-year term as Interim Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE) on July 1, 2023. Dr. Bennear is a Professor of Energy Economics and Policy at NSOE and holds secondary appointments at Duke in the Department of Economics and in the Sanford School of Public Policy. She received her Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University (2004) and also earned an MA in Economics from Yale University (1996) and an AB in Economics and Environmental Studies from Occidental College (1995).
Her research evaluates the effectiveness of environmental policies including information disclosure laws, management-based regulations, liability regimes, and demand-side management programs. She has applied these assessments across many global environmental domains including in the energy, toxicology, and drinking water fields. Her work is interdisciplinary and has resulted in numerous scientific publications in journals ranging from economics to public policy, to law, to general interest science journals. She co-edited a book “Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents, and Financial Crisis” with three other Duke faculty members in law and history. The book was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.
Her scholarship has been recognized for its policy import by several government agencies. Dr. Bennear has been called to serve on National Academies of Sciences consensus committees to improve energy policy focused on offshore oil and gas protocols as well as pipeline safety in high-consequence areas. She has worked, together with Professor Jonathan Wiener of Duke Law School, on projects to improve retrospective reviews of regulatory policies with the Administrative Conference of the United States. She has also informally consulted with EPA offices on the potential for information disclosure programs to enhance the enforcement of environmental regulations.
Before assuming the role of Interim Stanback Dean, Bennear served as Executive Vice Dean at NSOE where she directed all of the School’s internal operations. As Executive Vice Dean, Bennear also administered academic programming at the School in conjunction with NSOE’s Division Chairs. Bennear previously served as NSOE’s Senior Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives, a role in which she managed professional master's and undergraduate degree programs across the School.
Bennear has extensive service within the University community since joining Duke in 2004. Notably, from 2017-2019, she served as Chair of the Duke University Priorities Committee where Bennear led a comprehensive financial review of seven University institutes and three University initiatives as directed by the President. Bennear has further been the Associate Director for Educational Programs at the Duke University Energy Initiative, Faculty Co-Director for the Rethinking Regulation Network at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke, Faculty Representative for the Duke Alumni Association Board of Directors, and a member of the Duke 2030 Faculty Committee.