Carol Adaire Jones

Carol Adaire Jones
Visiting Scholar

Carol Adaire Jones joined ELI as Visiting Scholar in September 2014, following a 30-year career as an environmental economist in both government and academia.

She is co-leading ELI’s project on Tropical Environmental Liability – her focus is on the valuation of damage claims. She is also co-leading ELI’s Food Waste Initiative, conducting research to inform the design of public policies and public-private initiatives to promote food waste reduction, edible food donation, and diversion of food waste from landfills and incinerators. To complement this research, ELI is working with public and private sector organizations in local communities that seek support for developing new food waste reduction, recovery and diversion initiatives.

Across her career, two major areas of emphasis have been valuing natural resource damages for federal and state environmental litigation, and conducting research to inform the design of environmental and resource conservation policy.

At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1990-1997, Jones oversaw valuation of the natural resource damage claims for 36 cases brought by NOAA as a trustee for coastal and marine resources, which recovered over $190 million in addition to the $1 billion Exxon Valdez settlement.  As lead economist on the Oil Pollution Act regulations-writing team, she was an architect of the innovative restoration-based framework to value ecosystem services in natural resource damage claims, widely adopted by federal, state and tribal natural resource trustees and the EU. She also coordinated the "Blue Ribbon Panel on Use of Contingent Valuation in Natural Resource Damages."

Serving in several positions at USDA’s Economic Research Service from 1999-2014, Jones provided leadership for award-winning USDA research that has made timely contributions to policy debates on farm, agri-conservation, climate change, environmental markets, R&D and technology, water quality, and rural health policies. She also served on the faculty of the international business school INCAE in Costa Rica during 1998-1999, and the University of Michigan (Economics Department and the School of Natural Resources) during 1984-1990, and as a Gilbert White Fellow at Resources for the Future (1988-1989).

Jones received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, her M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has published extensively on various topics, including climate change mitigation in the agriculture/forestry sector, food, resource recovery and the environment; environmental trading, valuation of natural resources and ecosystem services, and design of regulatory policies and enforcement. See her profile on ResearchGate to access her publications.