The inaugural holder of the Ajello Professorship is Peter Wilcoxen, a professor of public administration and international
affairs at the Maxwell School and director of Maxwell's Center for Environmental Policy and Administration.
Wilcoxen, who is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, studies the effect of environmental and energy policies on economic growth, international trade, and the performance of individual industries. He has published more than 70
papers and has co-authored books on the design of an international policy to control climate change, on the design and construction of large-scale economic models, and on using environmental taxes as part of fiscal reform in the United States. He
is currently working on a two-year project, "Distributed Energy Markets," funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
According to Wilcoxen, the Ajello Professorship's power is its emphasis on broadly interdisciplinary research. It “builds on Maxwell's strengths in the social sciences," he says, “but goes beyond that to provide resources and support for interdisciplinary
work involving the natural sciences, engineering, information technology, and law." Interdisciplinary work is particularly important to environmental and energy issues, he says, as such issues are “deeply interdisciplinary. They occur where social
and natural systems meet. It's impossible to address them without understanding them from both sides."
Wilcoxen is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board, a former member of the EPA's Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, and former review editor on the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change. In addition to the NSF, his research has been funded by the Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey, and a range of foundations and other organizations from the private sector. He has won several awards for teaching, including
Syracuse University's highest award, the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence, and the Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
Wilcoxen received a BA in physics from the University of Colorado in 1982 and a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1989.