Daren Bakst is Director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment and a Senior Fellow.  In this role, he manages, develops, and leads the coalition, advocacy, and research activities of the Center, which is one of the most effective advocates for Free Market Environmentalism.

Before joining CEI as Deputy Director in March, 2023, Daren was a Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Policy and Regulation at the Heritage Foundation, where he played a leading role in the launch of the organization’s new energy and environment center, and created and hosted the Heritage Foundation’s energy and environment podcast the “PowerCast.” During his decade at Heritage, Daren wrote about energy and environmental policy, food and agricultural policy (including editing and co-authoring the book Farms and Free Enterprise), regulation, and trade among other topics.

Daren also worked on environmental policy and regulation at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he was a policy counsel and served as the executive to the association’s Government Oversight, Operations & Consumer Affairs committee, which was responsible for issues such as regulatory process reform.  Daren has significant state level experience, working for seven years at the Raleigh, N.C.-based John Locke Foundation, one of the largest state-based, free-market think tanks. As director of legal and regulatory studies, his broad portfolio included energy and environmental policy, regulatory reform, and property rights.

Daren has testified numerous times before Congress, regularly submits comments to federal agencies and has appeared in or been quoted by a wide range of media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Times, CNN, Fox Business News, Al-Jazeera America, and U.S. News and World Report.  He is a member of the Federalist Society’s Environmental Law and Property Rights Executive Committee and serves on the College Level Advisory Board for Constituting America, an organization that informs and educates about the importance of the U.S. Constitution.

Daren, who hails from Florida, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University. A licensed attorney, he holds a law degree from the University of Miami and a master of laws degree from American University.


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