Economist Finley joins Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies

Mark Finley, an economist who has spent 35 years at the intersection of energy, economics and public policy, has been named fellow in energy and global oil in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the institute announced Sept. 3.


Finley will help lead a new CES initiative that will focus on understanding the continuing evolution of U.S. and global oil markets.

Prior to joining the Baker Institute, Finley was the senior U.S. economist at BP, where he led the production of the company’s “Statistical Review of World Energy,” the industry’s longest-running compilation of objective global energy data. He was also responsible for the company’s long- and short-term oil market analysis, and he led the global oil market and transportation sector analyses for the long-term “BP Energy Outlook.”

Before working at BP, Finley was an analyst and manager at the CIA, where he was responsible for assessing U.S. strategic interests related to global oil and other energy markets, as well as analyzing the policies of key oil-producing and consuming countries.

“Mark has a long history of analyzing energy markets and he will bring that experience to the CES,” said Ken Medlock, senior director of the CES. “His ability to assess a continually evolving oil market during this dynamic period in history is important for understanding a variety of issues ranging from regional conflict to foreign policy to the future role of oil in the energy mix. Mark’s data-driven analytical mindset is critical to the energy market and policy analysis that we do at the CES, and he complements the team incredibly well.”

Finley’s appointment is part of an ongoing expansion of the CES, which is ranked No. 1 among the world’s energy- and resource-policy research institutions according to the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program’s 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. The center provides policymakers, corporate leaders and the public with high-quality, data-driven analysis of issues that influence energy markets.

Finley is a senior fellow of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics, a recognition of his lifetime contributions to the profession. He has held leadership roles at the International Association for Energy Economics, the National Association for Business Economics and the Conference of Business Economists. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Finley received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in finance from George Washington University.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.