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John P. Banks

John P. Banks

Senior Lecturer

DCS Co-Faculty Lead


John P. Banks is a Senior Lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry, specifically in consulting, academia, and at a leading think tank. Since 2009 he has been affiliated with SAIS, first as an adjunct professor and then becoming a full-time faculty member in 2016.  He currently serves as faculty co-lead of the Development, Climate and Sustainability focus area within the two-year Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) degree program.

Banks teaches Global Electricity MarketsEnergy Transitions in the US, and leads the Energy and Environment Practicum, an innovative course in which second-year MAIR students work with external client organizations on projects addressing environmental and energy policy challenges. Banks also designed and teaches the first course in SAIS’ new Master of Arts in Sustainable Energy online degree program, launched in the Fall of 2020.

Prof. Banks recently oversaw two student research field projects: examining electricity access challenges in Myanmar, and assessing the city of Seoul, South Korea’s efforts at deploying clean energy, especially solar PV. Professor Banks was selected by the student body to receive the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Banks’ research focuses on the ongoing transformation of the global electricity sector, with a particular interest in the intersection of technology innovation, policy, and regulatory trends as they impact de-carbonization approaches and evolving business models. In 2019, he published a co-authored assessment of alternative, sub-national electricity service models in the U.S., specifically community choice aggregation, the sustainable energy utility, and municipal utilities. In another peer-reviewed, research overview article (2022) he assessed how different types of electricity markets in the U.S are impacted by variable renewable resources and distributed energy resources, and how these markets are adapting and innovating to accommodate these resources.

For nine years (2009-2018), he served as a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at the Brookings Institution. He contributed to the formation of, and helped run, Brookings’ Global Electricity and Technology Roundtable, a bi-annual, private meeting of senior utility and technology industry executives, state and federal government officials, financial institutions, regulators, academia, and others designed to discuss major developments in the electricity sector globally. While at Brookings, Banks played a leading role in developing and carrying out research efforts dealing with nuclear power, the transition of the electricity sector in Germany and Japan, the role of distributed energy resources in the US, electricity access in emerging markets, and the future role of coal.

Prior to working at a think tank and in academia, he was a consultant for over 20 years advising governments, companies, and regulators throughout the world on energy policy, security, and governance issues. He has worked for a number of firms including Nexant, Inc. the successor company to Bechtel Technology & Consulting, and BearingPoint (now Deloitte) in New York.

He has authored or co-authored dozens of energy reports, published numerous articles, and has provided expert testimony. Banks has worked in more than 30 countries outside the U.S., and holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.


  • The Customer of the Future: How Millennials Will Transform the Utility Business Model, (panel moderator), Oracle Industry Connect Conference - Energy and Utilities Program, Orlando, FL, April 12, 2016. 
  • Coal Industry: Global Overview & U.S. Market, with Patrick Gable (Grant Thornton), presentation to U.S.  Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, June 3, 2015. 
  • JP Morgan Transportation and Utilities Conference, Keynote Presentation for the Utilities Track, New York, NY, April 16, 2015.
  • U.S. Energy Policy: The Burdens of the Past and Moving Forward, Public Presentation, Brookings Mountain West, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, September 25, 2012.
  • US Energy Policy in a Global Context: Are we driving without a map? Peoria World Affairs Council, Peoria, IL, June 21, 2012.
  • The Council for the United States and Italy, Workshop June 3-4, 2011 (Venice, Italy).  Panel Presentation: The Future of Nuclear Energy after Fukushima
  • China Business News - A discussion of U.S.-China collaboration on the world economy, May 12, 2011 (New York, New York).  Panel Presentation: What does the uprising in the Middle East mean for global energy market and how does that affect energy agendas for 2011 and beyond?
  • Tufts University European Centre, Global Leadership Seminar, October 1, 2010 (Talloires, France).  Panel Presentation: Nuclear Non-Proliferation: Geopolitical and Business Opportunities and Risks in a Changing Security Landscape
  • Restructuring and Privatization of Utilities: Implications for Human Resources – the BATELCO Experience, presentation at Restructuring Utilities Workshop, the Institute for Public-Private Partnerships, Washington, DC, August 27, 2001. 
  • Public Participation in the Regulatory Process: Review of International Best Practices and Implications for the National Authority for Gas Sector Regulation (ANRGN), presentation at Joint USAID/EU PHARE Conference on the Transition of the Romanian Market for Natural Gas, Poiana Brasov, Romania, September 27-28, 2001.  
  • Recommendations for Institutional Strengthening Program for Electricity Sector Policy and Regulatory Agencies, presentation before the Prime Minister and Privatization Commission in Georgetown, Guyana, April 3, 2000.
  • World Oil Price Trends: Implications for California Energy Policy, with Charles K. Ebinger, submitted to California Energy Commission Committee Hearing on Fuel Issues Facing California (Docket No. 95-FR-1), May 11, 1995. 
  • Energy and Environmental Restructuring in Kazakhstan and Jordan: A Comparison, presented at the Seminar on Environmental Sustainability and Energy Development in Eastern Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 6-10, 1995 (sponsored by the World Bank). 
  • Major Energy Problems in the Less Developed Countries and Eastern Europe, presented before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in July 1991.
  • At the National Conference on Octane Markets and Reformulated Gasoline in March 1991, was a member of the National Policy Discussion Panel on Energy, the Environment and the Middle East.
  • OPEC and Global Oil Markets in the Aftermath of the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait, with Dr. Charles K. Ebinger, presented before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on October 31, 1990.
  • Keynote speaker on the Implications of the Mideast Situation at the Efficient Electricity Generation with Natural Gas Conference (Orlando, Florida in November 1990).



  • Renewable Energy
  • Global Electricity Sector
  • Energy Policy
  • Alternative Electricity Sources


  • Spanish