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David G. Victor

Professor; Peter Cowhey Center for Global Transformation Chair in Innovation and Public Policy; Director, Deep Decarbonization Initiative

David Victor is a professor and Peter Cowhey Center for Global Transformation Chair in Innovation and Public Policy at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. Victor is the co-director of the campus-wide Deep Decarbonization Initiativewhich focuses on real world strategies for bringing the world to nearly zero emissions of warming gases. He is also an adjunct professor in Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Prior to joining the faculty at UC San Diego, he was a professor at Stanford Law School where he taught energy and environmental law.

His research focuses on regulated industries and how regulation affects the operation of major energy markets. Much of his research is at the intersection of climate change science and policy. Victor authored "Global Warming Gridlock," which explains why the world hasn't made much diplomatic progress on the problem of climate change while also exploring new strategies that would be more effective. The book was recognized by The Economist as one of the best books of 2011. He is most recently the author of “Fixing the Climate,” which was published by Princeton University Press.

Victor was a convening lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations-sanctioned international body with 195 country members that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He has been tapped by Southern California Edison to lead the company’s Community Engagement Panel for decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Victor is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Energy, where his work focuses on the role of natural gas as a transition fuel to deep decarbonization as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2020, Victor was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest and most esteemed honorary societies in the nation. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.


Ph.D., Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997
A.B., History and Science, Harvard University, 1987

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"Making Climate Policy Work"
David G. Victor (UC San Diego) and Danny Cullenward (Stanford University)
Polity Press (2021)

"Oil and Governance: State-Owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply"
David G. Victor (UC San Diego), David R. Hults (Stanford University) and Mark Thurber (Stanford University)
Cambridge University Press (2012)

"Global Warming Gridlock"
David G. Victor (UC San Diego)
Cambridge University Press (2011)