USC Price School of Public Policy

Alumni Spotlight:

Q&A with Noah Dormady, PhD ’12

Noah Dormady

Noah Dormady, PhD ’12

After graduating with his PhD in Policy, Planning, and Development from USC Price in 2012, Noah Dormady accepted a tenure-track position at Ohio State University, where he is now an Assistant Professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. He has taught courses in policy analysis and environmental/energy policy, and is conducting research related to carbon auction designs and electricity markets.

What was the topic of your dissertation at USC Price? And, what are your research areas of interest?

While I was at USC, I did research as a Research Assistant both for USC Price and the Center for Risk and the Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).

My research areas of interest include environmental policy, energy policy, public policy, economics of terrorism and natural hazards, and collaborative organization/governance.

My dissertation topic was the interactions between deregulated electricity markets and carbon auctions.

While I was working at CREATE, I conducted research on the economic impacts to the real estate market of a potential anthrax terrorism attack on the City of Seattle. That work was just accepted for publication in Risk Analysis.

What types of projects are you working on now?

Presently, I am studying the effect of new and innovative carbon auction designs such as those used in California’s AB32 auctions. I am working with a colleague in the Ohio State University Department of Economics to conduct both human experimental analysis and game theoretic analysis of these markets.

I am also studying the design and efficiency of Ohio’s regional auctions for retail electricity competition. This work is with former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Commissioner (PUCO) Cheryl Roberto.

In addition, I am studying the use of virtual “convergence” bidding in wholesale forward electricity auctions.

And, I am researching the drivers of demand for carbon offsets in emissions markets.

Do any of your projects have the potential to help inform or guide policy decisions?

I am currently working with a former PUCO Commissioner on a policy brief and research paper that will hopefully have a positive impact on the commission’s and State of Ohio’s decision to incorporate energy efficiency measures into the state’s energy plan.

How did the PhD program at USC Price prepare you for your career in academia?

The PhD program was fantastic because of the faculty who worked with me. I worked mostly with Adam Rose, and it was my work with him that was, hands down, the most important part of my preparation.

How did the faculty at USC Price influence you?

In a variety of ways: Professor Adam Rose was a source of continual learning and encouragement for my work. We worked on a variety of research projects and each was challenging and highly rewarding, and I learned more during that time than I could ever learn in any class.

Professor Daniel Mazmanian was a continual advocate and supported me throughout the entirety of my academic career. As a PhD student, oftentimes the most important person in your life is an advocate who will support you when others do not.

Professor Simon Wilkie (Department of Economics) was very gracious to me and inspired me in a number of ways.

Professor Yan Tang was an encouragement to me in my theoretical development and helped me to place my work in the larger field of literature.

Professor Dan Wei is an inspiring researcher and coauthor and I learned from her the importance of conscientious research.

Both Professor Mazmanian and Tang formed a yearlong colloquium/series of talks through the Bedrosian Center on collaborative governance. It was through these talks that my interest in collaborative organization developed.

What was your favorite part of being as student at USC Price?

My fellow PhD student colleagues… there were several fellow students who were very inspiring.

In what ways have you been able to apply experiences at Price to your position as a faculty member?

There is very little that I am applying to my current job that I did not learn from the faculty and my fellow colleagues at Price.

Lastly, what research will you be working on in the near future?

In addition to the work I previously mentioned: I plan to be working with Professor Adam Rose (USC Price) and Kathleen Tierney (University of Colorado) to study dynamic economic resilience following disasters.

I also plan to conduct a large scale analysis of the countywide economic impacts of natural gas pipelines, leading to an analysis of large scale pipelines like the Keystone XL project.

Third, I plan to begin working on the development of a “big data” project for the administration of environmental and energy data from the State of Ohio.