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By Liz Warren-Pederson

Paul Portney (center) with Eller College students. Photo by Thomas Veneklasen.

Paul Portney (center) with Eller College students.
Photo by Thomas Veneklasen.

Eller College of Management dean and Halle Chair in Leadership Paul Portney was recognized this month with the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Society for Risk Analysis, a membership organization with cross-sector representation including government, academia, and industry.

Portney, a noted expert on energy and environmental policy, spent over 30 years with independent Washington, D.C. think tank Resources for the Future, leading the organization as its president from 1995-2005. Last year’s Distinguished Achievement Award recipient, Kenneth Arrow, won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1972.

The author or co-author of ten books — including Public Policies for Environmental Protection — Portney was one of the 100 most-cited researchers in economics and business in 2005.

Portney joined the Eller College in July 2005. In January, he will conclude his tenure as dean and join the Department of Economics faculty. During the spring semester, he will teach one course each at the graduate and undergraduate levels dealing with energy, environment, and economics.

During his tenure, the Eller College has doubled the number of its fully-funded endowed chairs; created a successful new Executive MBA program; developed a new campus in Scottsdale, Arizona, that houses that program as well as an Evening MBA program; seen its undergraduate and graduate specialties including entrepreneurship and MIS ranked among the top ten and top five in the country among public universities; and completed a strategic planning exercise that charts the future course of the College.

Current vice dean Leslie Eldenburg will lead the College as interim dean through July 1, 2011. The University of Arizona is currently seeking Portney’s successor.