Dan Etsy

Dan Esty

Professor of Environmental Law & Policy, Yale Law School

Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with primary appointments in the Environment and Law Schools and a secondary appointment at the Yale Schools of Global Affairs and Management. He also serves as the Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and as co-director of the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance.

Professor Esty is the author or editor of 14 books and dozens of articles on environmental protection, energy, and sustainability — and their connections to policy, corporate strategy, finance, competitiveness, and trade as well as metrics and performance measurement. His first book, "Greening the GATT" (1994), caused a significant stir in the policy arena with its call for environmental concerns to be embedded more fundamentally in the rules and procedures of the international trading system. His prizewinning 2007 volume, "Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage", has been the top-selling green business book of the past decade, and his edited 2020 book, "A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future", was named a “book of the year” by the Financial Times. Known for his path-breaking work at the business-sustainability interface, Professor Esty has provided strategy advice to companies, governments, international organizations, NGOs, and foundations around the world.

From 2011 to early 2014, Professor Esty served as Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection where he earned a reputation for bringing fresh thinking to both energy and environmental policy making, including such innovations as Connecticut’s first-in-the-nation Green Bank and a fundamental restructuring of all of Connecticut’s environmental programs to make the state’s regulatory framework lighter, faster, and more effective. Prior to taking up his Yale professorship in 1994, he worked as a trade lawyer in Washington DC, served in a variety of senior positions at the US Environmental Protection Agency, and was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington-based think tank.

Professor Esty is presently on public service leave from Yale — and working on building a sustainability agenda for the trading system as a visiting scholar at the World Trade Organization.