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Alexander Pfaff
Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Professor in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Professor in the Department of Economics
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
Faculty Research Scholar of DuPRI's Population Research Center

Areas of Expertise


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1995)
B.A., Yale University (1988)


Alexander Pfaff was an author of the IPBES Global Assessment. He discusses the influential report on the POlicy 360 podcast. Listen | Transcript



Alexander Pfaff discusses the environmental impact of China's massive regional infrastructure project, the "Belt and Road Initiative" on the Policy 360 podcast. Listen | Transcript



Alex Pfaff is a Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Environment at Duke University. He studies how economic development affects and is affected by natural resources and the environment. His focus is on the impacts of conservation policies (such as protected areas, ecoservices payments, and certifications) and development policies (such as roads and rights). Those impacts are functions of choices by individuals and communities that affect land use, water quantity and quality, human exposures (to arsenic, mercury, mining, and particulates), and both the provision and use of information.

Research accessible at