Co-Director, Energy Program
Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)
Ralph Cavanagh is a Senior Attorney and Co-Director of NRDC’s energy program, which he joined in 1979.
Ralph has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford and UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and a Lecturer on Law at the Harvard Law School; he has also been a faculty member for the University of Idaho’s Public Utility Executives Course for more than a decade. From 1993-2003 he served on the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board.
His current board memberships include the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, California Clean Energy Fund, Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies, Renewable Northwest Project, Northwest Energy Coalition, and Sustainable Energy Advisory Board of Texas-based Energy Future Holdings. He is also a member of the National Commission on Energy Policy, which the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation established in 2002.
Ralph has received the Heinz Award for Public Policy, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Mary Kilmarx Award, the Yale Law School’s Preiskel-Silverman Fellowship, the Lifetime Achievement in Energy Efficiency Award from California’s Flex Your Power Campaign, the Northwest Energy Coalition’s Headwaters Award and the Bonneville Power Administration’s Award for Exceptional Public Service.
He is a graduate of Yale College and the Yale Law School. He is married to Deborah Rhode, who is the MacFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.