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Research Scholars

Seth Pinsky

Senior Fellow, Senior Fellow Senior Research Scholar (part-time)

Seth Pinsky serves as Executive Vice President, Fund Manager, Metro Emerging Markets and Public Affairs Director. In this role, Pinsky is leading RXR’s efforts to invest in “emerging opportunities” in New York City and the surrounding Tri-State region, focusing on asset classes and geographic regions that have historically been characterized by under-investment, but that have significant growth potential due to planned or in-place infrastructure and other relevant characteristics.

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David Sandalow

Inaugural Fellow, Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy  

David Sandalow joined Columbia from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served as Under Secretary of Energy (Acting) and Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs.  In those roles, he helped oversee the DOE’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, fossil energy, nuclear energy and electricity delivery programs, as well as coordinate policy and manage international activities  at the Department. Prior to his service at DOE, Sandalow was Energy & Environment Scholar and a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution, as well as Energy & Climate Change Working Group Chair at the Clinton Global Initiative. He is the author of Freedom from Oil (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and editor of Plug-In Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington? (Brookings Press, 2009). Sandalow has written widely on energy and environmental policy, including op-eds in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times and other publications. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science, a Senior Director on the National Security Council staff and an Associate Director on the staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  Sandalow is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (JD) and Yale College (BA Philosophy).

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Harry Silver

Senior Fellow for Management; Senior Research Scholar (part-time)

Harry Silver, recently retired as a Managing Director with Goldman Sachs, served during 2012-13 as a senior advisor/loaned executive with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. At the DHS he suggested potential areas of improvement in public-private collaboration related to critical infrastructure and provided independent and critical assessments of policies, procedures and tools impacting the private sector.  During a career spanning four decades at Goldman he led a number of global operational and risk management initiatives in the areas of investment banking, general (corporate) services, human capital management, compliance operations, crisis management, global security, and vendor risk management.  Silver has also held positions as senior vice-president and chief administrative officer of the (internet start-up) Wit Soundview Group, executive director for Cravath, Swaine and Moore, vice president/chief of staff to the president of Personal and Banking Services at Chemical Bank and principal with the consulting firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton.


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Joan Spero

Senior Research Scholar (part-time)

Joan E. Spero is a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she researches and writes about international philanthropy and its role in the global system.  From 2009 to 2010, Ms. Spero was a Visiting Scholar at the Foundation Center, where she conducted research on the role of American private foundations in U.S. foreign policy and in the global system.  That research culminated in 2010 with the publication titled The Global Role of U.S. Foundations. From 1997 to the end of 2008, Ms. Spero served as President of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, President of the Duke Farms Foundation, a 2,700 acre property in New Jersey devoted to environmental stewardship, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, whose mission is the study and understanding of Islamic arts and culture.

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