RESOURCES FOR THE Future (RFF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1952 under the Truman Administration, RFF initially had a domestic focus, but has since shifted to include international affairs. With a variety of outlets for data dissemination, RFF provides intellectual leadership in environmental economics. Research methods are based in the social sciences and quantitative economic analysis, including cost-benefit trade-offs, valuations, and risk assessments. RFF scholars compile core knowledge on a range of environmental topics, with the goal of contributing to scholarship, teaching, debate, and decision making. One major division of research is energy, electricity, and climate change.
RFF was the first think tank in the United States devoted exclusively to environmental issues. The impetus for RFF came from William Paley, who had formerly chaired a presidential commission charged with examining whether the United States was becoming overly dependent on foreign natural resources and commodities. Today, the RFF board of directors consists of members of the business community, former state officials, academics, and leaders of environmental advocacy organizations. It is increasingly inclusive in terms of nationality, race, and gender.
By 2006, RFF had operating revenue of $10.6 million, of which nearly 70 percent came from individual contributions and private foundations, as well as the 25 percent that is generated from government grants. The rest was withdrawn from a reserve fund valued at over $35 million that was created to support the organization's operations.
RFF has approximately 40 staff researchers composed of senior fellows, fellows, resident scholars, research assistants, and associates. In addition, RFF hosts visiting scholars from academia and the policy community. RFF scholars share their findings through seminars and conferences, congressional testimony, and global media. They publish in external peer-reviewed journals and several RFF publications, including discussion papers, reports, issue briefs, and Resources magazine. The online Weathervane is a guide to global climate policy. RFF Connection is an electronic newsletter that provides updates on events, research, and publications. RFF Press offers hundreds of titles on environmental issues written by the organization's staff and outside experts.
The focus of RFF's research has shifted to include global concerns, although U.S. policy innovation and implementation maintain importance. International research topics include environmental governance
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