Clark Williams-Derry: Biography

Clark_smallClark Williams-Derry is the director of energy finance for Sightline Institute, a multi-issue sustainability think-tank based in Seattle. His research focuses on US and global and energy markets, particularly issues affecting the Western United States. Williams-Derry’s recent research has covered the financial and fiscal implications of “self-bonding” for coal mine reclamation; the financial viability of West Coast coal export projects; Pacific Rim coal market dynamics; greenhouse gas accounting for coal export projects; issues emerging from coal industry bankruptcies; and the interactions between federal coal leasing policy and coal exports.

Williams-Derry spent 15 years directing Sightline’s research team, spearheading groundbreaking research on mapping and analyzing sprawl; testing human breastmilk for toxics; designing a regional climate cap-and-trade policy; and exploring the intersection of transportation, land use, climate change, and human health. He also launched the Cascadia Scorecard project, Sightline’s regional index of progress towards a sustainable Pacific Northwest. He is an in-demand speaker, writer, consultant, and media spokesperson on sustainability topics.

Before joining Sightline, Williams-Derry investigated federal farm and wetlands policy as a senior analyst at Environmental Working Group (EWG), where he oversaw the development of EWG’s nationally-acclaimed farm subsidy database. He was the first webmaster for Grist Magazine. He started his career at the national researcher, legislative analyst, and media relations specialist for the National Audubon Society in Washington, DC. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1989 with a joint degree in mathematics and philosophy. A resident of Seattle, Williams-Derry spends his “spare” time with his wife Amy and their two daughters.