The Energy Silk Road

Robert F. Ichord, Jr.

Robert F. Ichord, Jr.

United States Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Energy Resources

Robert F. Ichord, Jr. serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources. He is responsible for promoting the transformation of energy systems to achieve greater efficiency and cleaner performance through use of market forces and innovative financing approaches. He will lead the Bureau’s efforts to reform electricity and power systems and develop more efficient and reliable national and regional electricity markets.

Mr. Ichord has a long-history of U.S. Government service in the energy field, having worked for the Energy Research and Development Agency, the US Department of Energy, and the US Agency for International Development. At USAID, he played a leading role in developing energy and environmental strategies and projects in Asia, the Near East and North Africa and Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

He initiated the first US energy assistance programs in Eastern Europe in 1990-91 and the New Independent States in early 1992. He pioneered Utility and Regulatory Partnership programs with the US Energy Association and the US National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. A major focus of this work with the new transition countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was on the restructuring, regulatory reform, commercialization and privatization of the electricity power utilities. One aspect of this was his contribution to the USG efforts to promote nuclear safety and the closure of high-risk reactors such as at Chernobyl. More recently, he helped the European Commission forge the Energy Community Treaty in the Balkans to harmonize the regulatory frameworks and integrate the electricity systems in this region into the internal European Union electricity market. From 1978-89, he guided efforts to expand rural electrification systems in Asia and introduce energy efficiency, renewable energy and private power generation technologies and approaches.

He is recipient of the USAID George Marshall and Science and Technology Awards; and in May 2006, received a Superior Honor Award from the Department of State for his role in achieving the Athens Energy Community Treaty. He is also the recipient of the prestigious International Energy Efficiency award from the USEA-Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Forum for his ground-breaking energy efficiency programs in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Mr. Ichord holds a B.A. in International Relations from Denison University, Granville, Ohio; a Masters degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts; and he was awarded a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was awarded a fellowship from the East-West Center Technology and Development Institute. He has authored numerous articles on energy and development, and has published a book on Indonesia's Energy Policy.