Resources for the Future (RFF)
RFF´s research fellows work closely with their counterparts and RFF´s communications staff help to disseminate the new centers' research products.
Resources for the Future (RFF) is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, or think tank, that conducts independent research – rooted primarily in economics and other social sciences – on environmental and natural resource issues. Although RFF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., its research scope comprises programs in nations around the world.
Founded in 1952, RFF was created at the recommendation of William Paley, then head of the Columbia Broadcasting System, who had chaired a presidential commission that examined whether the United States was becoming overly dependent on foreign sources of important natural resources and commodities. RFF became the first think tank devoted exclusively to natural resource and environmental issues.
For more than 50 years, RFF has pioneered the application of economics as a tool to develop more effective policy about the use and conservation of natural resources. Its scholars continue to analyze critical issues concerning pollution control, energy policy, land and water use, hazardous waste, climate change, public health, ecosystem management, biodiversity, and the environmental challenges of developing countries.
Today, RFF’s staff encompasses some 40 researchers comprising five research areas: Risk and Regulation, the Natural World, Energy and the Environment, Transportation and Urban Land, and Environmental and Public Health. Most researchers hold doctorates in economics, but RFF analysts also hold advanced degrees in engineering, law, ecology, city and regional planning, American government, and public policy and management, among other disciplines.
In addition to its research staff, RFF has a development office, a communications office, a book publishing operation, and various research support functions, including a small library.
Operating as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, RFF has earned a reputation for conducting independent, nonpartisan research and policy analysis of the highest quality.
RFF eagerly shares the results of its work with policymakers in government at all levels, environmental and business organizations, academicians, the media, and the interested public.
RFF neither lobbies nor takes positions on specific legislative or regulatory proposals, although individual researchers, speaking for themselves and not for RFF, do formulate specific policy recommendations based on the findings in their work.
RFF’s success is made possible by the financial support of individuals and organizations that have the vision to see the role research plays in formulating sound public policies. More than 70 percent of the money raised from individuals, corporations, private foundations, and government agencies goes directly to our research and public education activities.