Robert J. Lempert

Photo of Robert Lempert
Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office

Education

Ph.D. in applied physics, S.M. in applied physics and science policy, Harvard University; B.A.S. in physics and political science, Stanford University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Robert Lempert is a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on decisionmaking under conditions of deep uncertainty, with an emphasis on climate change, energy, and the environment. Lempert and his research team assist a number of natural resource agencies in their efforts to include climate change in their long-range plans. He has also led studies on national security strategies and science and technology investment strategies for clients such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Lempert is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Panel on Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Political and Social Stresses, and a lead author for Working Group II of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and for the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Lempert was the Inaugural EADS Distinguished Visitor in Energy and Environment at the American Academy in Berlin.

A professor of policy analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis. Lempert received his Ph.D. in applied physics and S.M. in applied physics and science policy from Harvard University.

Recent Projects

  • Developing and applying new tools for managing deep uncertainty and surprise
  • Climate change and environment
  • Water resources management
  • Managing innovation

Selected Publications

Robert J. Lempert et al., "A General, Analytic Method for Generating Robust Strategies and Narrative Scenarios," Management Science, 52(4), 2006

Robert J. Lempert and Steven W. Popper "High-Performance Government in an Uncertain World," in Robert Klitgaard and Paul C. Light, High-Performance Government: Structure, Leadership, Incentives, RAND Corporation (MG-256), 2005

Steven W. Popper et al., "Shaping the Future," Scientific American, 292(4), 2005

Robert J. Lempert et al., Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative Long-Term Policy Analysis, RAND Corporation (MR-1626), 2003

Robert J. Lempert, "Finding Transatlantic Common Ground on Climate Change?" The International Spectator, 36(2), 2002

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Beyond the Beltway; Fox; New York Times; NPR

Commentary: American Interest; United Press International

Commentary

  • EPA administrator Gina McCarthy announces steps under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from power plants during a news conference on June 2, 2014

    New Coal Plant Rules Need Sustained Support to Succeed

    Stopping climate change will require the United States and the rest of the world to virtually eliminate emissions over the course of the 21st century. Getting anywhere close to zero emissions demands sustained political and public support, driven by an energy production sector given enough incentives to make carbon reduction succeed.

    Jun 30, 2014 | The Sacramento Bee

  • houses destroyed by Hurricane Sandy

    Planning for Superstorms, Wildfires, and Deep Uncertainty

    The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.

    Apr 18, 2013 | RAND.org

  • traffic jam

    Evidence for Climate Change Is Overwhelming

    In case after case, the theory that best fits the data is the one that also leads inexorably to the conclusion that human influence is one of the most important forces currently changing the climate, writes Robert J. Lempert.

    Mar 8, 2012 | Palisadian-Post

  • Climate Scientists Should Wear Adam Smith Ties

    If it were really possible to explain millions of years of Earth data with a theory that doesn't also imply a recent human influence on the climate, some ambitious, self-interested team of scientists somewhere in the world would seek scientific renown by doing so, writes Robert Lempert.

    Mar 30, 2011 | Bloomberg Government

  • Redesigning the International Approach to Climate Change

    Limiting climate change requires a revolution in the way the global economy generates and consumes energy. It is becoming increasingly clear that the current diplomatic approach should be redesigned to meet this immense political, technical, and social challenge, writes Robert J. Lempert.

    Jul 1, 2010 | The Huffington Post

  • Missed Opportunities in Johannesburg

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Missed Opportunities in Johannesburg in United Press International on October 22, 2002.

    Oct 22, 2002 | United Press International

Publications