Tim Searchinger is an Associate Research Scholar at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He is also Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute.
Although trained as a lawyer, Searchinger's work today combines ecology and economics to analyze the challenge of how to feed a growing world population while reducing land use change and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Searchinger was the lead author of two papers in Science in 2008 and 2009 offering the first calculations of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with land use change due to biofuels and describing a broader error in the greenhouse gas accounting of bioenergy in the Kyoto Protocol and many national laws. Searchinger is now also serving as a Senior Fellow and Technical Director of the next World Resources Report for WRI, the World Bank and various UN agencies entitled Creating a Sustainable Food Future. (Copies of several reports for the project, including book-length interim findings, can be found at www.wri.org/wrr.) He is also the director of the Agricultural Synergies Project, a collaborative, international project to develop guidance for developing countries on strategies that boost agriculture production while reducing emissions. This project has collaborators in Colombia, Brazil, Rwanda, Zambia, Kenya, Vietnam, Indonesia, France and Australia.
For most of his career,Searchinger worked as an attorney at the conservation group, the Environmental Defense Fund, where he directed its work on agricultural policy and wetlands, and efforts to preserve and restore the Everglades and the Mississippi River. He conceived of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which has restored hundreds of thousands of acres of riparian area and wetlands. He received a National Wetlands Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a book regarding the importance of seasonal wetlands. Searchinger has also been a fellow of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, Senior Fellow of the Law and Environmental Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, a special adviser to the Maryland government on the Chesapeake Bay, a Deputy General Counsel to Governor Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania and a law clerk to Judge Edward Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is a graduate, summa cum laude, of Amherst College and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School where he was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal.