Robert S. Taylor
Robert S. Taylor is a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board. He is currently the General Counsel of MCE Social Capital, an entity dedicated to providing financing and support to microfinance and other organizations in roughly 40 countries throughout the developing world. In this position, Bob is addressing the challenge of lifting people and regions out of poverty in a sustainable fashion. In addition, Bob is a veteran of the Department of Defense (DoD), where he served as Principal Deputy General Counsel (PDGC) of DoD from 2009 to 2017. He spent nearly two of those years as Acting General Counsel. He also served as the first Deputy General Counsel (Environment and Installations) in DoD, from 1995 to 2002.
In those roles, Bob provided legal and policy advice to leaders at the highest levels of the Department of Defense, including the military departments, the Joint Staff, and the Combatant Commands, and throughout the federal government. During his DoD tenure, Bob supervised all legal work on environmental matters confronting the Department, including those involving the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and policy initiatives addressing climate change. In addition, in his tenure at the top of the Office of General Counsel, he had a role in the policy consideration of every significant national security challenge facing the Department and the Nation, from 2009 through early 2017.
From 2007 to 2008, Bob served on the Defense Science Board Task Force on Energy Security, identifying vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid and related national security threats. This wealth of experience gives Bob significant insight into the legal and policy issues affecting or concerning the impact of climate change on national security, and on the potential role of the Department in addressing climate related issues and opportunities.
Prior to (and during the breaks in) his government service, Bob had a distinguished private practice focused on energy and environment regulatory work. Since leaving DoD, Bob has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School for two semesters, and represented clients on government contracts related matters, including with respect to innovative technologies and acquisition authorities.
Bob is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, and a contributor to JustSecurity. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and a member of the District of Columbia Bar. He can be contacted at R underscore taylor at comcast dot net