Michael Wara is a lawyer and scholar focused on climate and energy policy.
Wara is Director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program and a senior research scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment as well as interim Policy Director for the Sustainability Accelerator within the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Wara organizes and manages cross-functional teams of graduate students that provide fact-based, bipartisan, technical and legal assistance to policymakers, environmental justice advocates, and tribes engaged in the development of novel climate and energy law and regulation. He also facilitates the connection of Stanford faculty with cutting edge policy debates on climate, energy and climate impacts, leveraging Stanford’s energy, climate and natural resource expertise to craft real world solutions to these challenges.
Wara’s legal and policy scholarship focuses on wildfire, climate mitigation, energy innovation, and regulated industries. He collaborates with economists, engineers and scientists in research on the design and evaluation of technical and regulatory solutions to climate and energy challenges.
Wara has served as a Wildfire Commissioner for the California, as a member of the California Catastrophe Council, the oversight body of the California Wildfire Fund, as a consultant to the Senate pro Tem on wildfire issues, and as a consultant to CPUC and OEIS on utility wildfire risk management. Wara has served on multiple National Academy of Sciences and California Council on Science and Technology reports. He is also a member of the Tamalpais Design Review Board.
Prior to joining Woods, Wara was an associate professor at Stanford Law School and an associate in Holland & Knight’s government practice. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School and his Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz.