As the director of the Baker Institute Energy Forum at Rice University, Amy Myers Jaffe is one of the few women at the forefront of energy research and policy. Armed with an Arabic studies degree from Princeton and hundreds of published academic articles, the 51-year-old former editor and mother of three regularly challenges pugnacious politicians and business leaders on their oil and gas rhetoric. “We’re the Anderson Cooper of energy facts,” says Jaffe, in a proud Boston accent. Her campus office, a short ten blocks from the home she shares with her attorney husband, Richard, is where she spends the better part of a seventy-hour workweek writing papers, analyzing data, and holding meetings.

• Nobel Prize–winning scientist Richard Smalley gave me this nanotube as a gift.

• After a conference in Muscat, Oman, I decided I would do some touring. A Middle East expert from George McGovern’s office took that photo.

Natural Gas and Geopolitics is one of three books I’ve helped write with the energy team.

• This holds a bottle of oil from a field in Shaybah, Saudi Arabia.

• These are videos of me. It’s less interesting than it sounds: news appearances, speeches, and such.

• These are my kids 14 years ago. They are now 21, 19, and 16 years old.

• My father was a commander in World War II in the South Pacific. This is his PT boat.

• The mango–passion fruit tea was a gift, and if I’m not mistaken, it was from a Chinese foreign delegation.

• This is an artistic work made for me by my daughter, Becca. She’s now an engineering student at Rice.

• I bought this plaque for myself. I think it sums up my career as a woman specialist in energy, where the men have strong opinions but are frequently incorrect.

• Congressman Peter Welch wrote me this note after I spoke to Congress at the Aspen Institute, in D.C. It was after Hurricane Ike. I had to bring my son with me, and Peter said that even my son looked interested in what I was saying.

• Over the years, I’ve met thousands of people, most of whom I consider friends. In my life experience, I have found that you can learn just as much from your enemies as you can from your friends.

Find the store nearest you selling Rolodex watches and other products at

Learn more about Richard Smalley and nanotube technology at

Visit to find out about upcoming events at the Baker Institute.

Discover the history and culture of Jordan at

Find the schedules for seminars, whether philanthropy or public policy, at the Aspen Institute at