Barbara Kates-Garnick

Professor of Practice and Senior Research Fellow, Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, Fletcher School, Tufts University


Dr. Kates-Garnick is a leader in the energy and environmental fields with expertise in strategic decision making, the cost/benefit of implementing regulatory mandates, and organizations’ responses to the challenge of change. Kates-Garnick’s most recent government position was as Undersecretary of Energy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She currently teaches at The Fletcher School at Tufts as a Professor of Practice and serves as senior research fellow at the school’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.

As Vice President of Corporate Affairs at KeySpan, Kates-Garnick directed government and media relations, crisis communications, and operations support in New England as well as corporate community outreach. As a path-breaker in the implementation of energy deregulation, she designed the strategy that led to the sale of the first deregulated electricity in the nation. Kates-Garnick has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Power Subcommittee and numerous state legislatures and regulatory bodies. As a public utility commissioner in Massachusetts, she facilitated the adoption of its early energy efficiency programs. In her consulting practice, Kates-Garnick has provided advice on a wide range of economic and regulatory issues faced by the energy, environmental, and telecommunications industries as they confront change and transformation.

Kates-Garnick currently serves on the executive committee of the board of The Partnership, New England’s foremost organization promoting talent of executives of color and on the board of PowerOptions, one of New England’s premier energy aggregation groups. She has served on the Boston advisory board of the Posse Foundation and as an outside director of a privately held family real estate company. Kates-Garnick has a PhD in International Political Economy from The Fletcher School of Tufts University and an AB cum laude in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. She was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where her focus was on energy security.