Richard Priest

Title & Affiliation
Senior Faculty Affiliate Environmental Policy Research Program
Senior Faculty Affiliate Politics and Policy Research Program
Associate Professor Department of History
Associate Professor Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences


  • PhD, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996
  • MA, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990

Richard (Tyler) Priest's primary interests are in the fields of energy, environmental, global, business and public history. He has a joint appointment in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, where he teaches a course on U.S. Energy Policy and assists in overseeing the Environmental Policy and Planning program. Priest’s research has long focused on natural resource development and trade in the global economy. His expertise on the history of offshore oil has led to advisory positions and a role as a regular commentator for print, radio, online and television media. In 2010, he served as a senior policy analyst on the President’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Priest provided historical expertise to the commission’s investigation of the disaster and the recommendations for government and industry reforms in its aftermath.

Priest’s public history and consulting work includes positions as member of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Scientific Advisory Committee, Minerals Management Service/Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, U.S. Department of Interior; member of the Advisory Committee and Chairman of the Industry Pioneer Committee of the Offshore Energy Center (OEC); and chief historian on the Association for International Petroleum Negotiators' (AIPN) history project.