James L. Sweeney is Director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (formerly named the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency); Professor of Management Science and Engineering; Senior Fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; and senior fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy. He served as chairman of the Stanford Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and chairman of the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research.
His professional activities focus on economic policy and analysis, particularly in energy, natural resources, and the environment. His research includes energy policy, depletable and renewable resource use, electricity market analysis, environmental economics, global climate change policy, gasoline market dynamics, energy demand, and energy price dynamics. Along with Alan Kneese, he was editor of the three volume Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, part of the North Holland Handbooks in Economics series. He is the author of the book "The California Electricity Crisis", an analytical history of the economic and policy issues associated with California's electricity restructuring and the subsequent crisis. He authored the book, "Energy Efficiency: Building a Clean, Secure Economy," which shows how energy efficiency has led to US energy import security, a deep de-carbonization of the US economy, and economic benefits to the United States.
At Stanford he has served as Director of the Energy Modeling Forum, Chairman of the Stanford Institute for Energy Studies, and Director of the Center for Economic Policy Research (now the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research). He currently is on the executive committee of the Precourt Institute for Energy.
He periodically serves as a consultant or advisor to corporations, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and law firms. He has served as expert witness in energy litigations in natural gas, oil, and electricity industries in the United States and in New Zealand.
He holds a B.S. degree from MIT in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Engineering Economic Systems. His articles have appeared in numerous books and journals, including Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Resources and Energy, Management Science, Journal of Urban Economics, The Energy Journal, and International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.