Jack Spencer oversees Heritage Foundation research on a wide range of domestic economic issues as director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Those topics include federal spending, taxes, energy and environment, regulation and retirement savings.
Before his promotion to Roe Institute director in July 2013, Spencer specialized in nuclear energy issues in both the domestic and global arenas as Heritage’s senior research fellow in nuclear energy policy. He was Heritage’s go-to expert on nuclear waste management, technological advances, industry subsidies and international approaches to nuclear energy.
Spencer also researched regulation of the industry, proliferation issues, the global energy market and national security uses for nuclear power. Much of his work centered on developing a comprehensive, subsidy-free, market-based approach to nuclear energy policy. That strategy includes fighting to preserve Yucca Mountain as a safe repository for nuclear materials.
Spencer has testified before Congress on related topics, including nuclear loan guarantees and international implications of the growth of commercial nuclear power. The President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future heard his testimony in 2010 on how to introduce market forces into public policy for safely managing nuclear waste.
Spencer began his second tour of duty at Heritage in September 2007, after working on commercial, civilian and military components of nuclear energy at the Babcock & Wilcox Companies, based in Charlotte, N.C. From 1998 to 2005, he was a Heritage analyst on defense and national security.
Spencer is quoted regularly in national newspapers such as The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He has appeared as a guest expert on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, C-SPAN and BBC, among other TV outlets, as well as on National Public Radio and popular radio programs such as “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”
He holds a bachelor's degree in international politics from Frostburg State University and a master's degree from the University of Limerick. While in Ireland, he began research toward a doctorate in international relations and national security.
Spencer, who grew up in Mount Savage, Md., currently resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.