Paul R. Kleindorfer

May 12, 1940 – August 24, 2012

Brief Biography

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Paul R. Kleindorfer spent the 1964/1965 academic year at the University of Tubingen, Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship in Mathematics. He went on to study under Gerald L. Thompson at Carnegie Mellon University, where he received a PhD in 1970. Kleindorfer held appointments at Carnegie and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prior to joining the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1973.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Kleindorfer worked closely with Michael Crew on public utilities, publishing two graduate textbooks on the subject in 1979 and 1986. In the 1990s, he began working on risk analysis in the decision sciences. After a decade, Kleindorfer’s research in risk management became more focused following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. His most recent work in the subject dealt with the management of risks in supply chain distribution.

At Whraton, Kleindorfer served in a number of roles with and for the then newly former Decision Sciences Department. He twice chaired the department, served as Vice Dean of the school’s Doctoral Programs, and co-directed the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center from 1992 until his retirement. In this capacity he focused on the chemical and food processing industries and catastrophic risks, consulting for dozens of companies and government agencies across the globe.

After retiring from Wharton in 2006, Kleindorfer moved to Paris and joined INSEAD, the Business School for the World. There, he held the Dubrule Chair in Sustainability. Kleindorfer was admired for his warm attitude and fondness for calling colleagues “amigo.” In 2012, he was named a Fellow of the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society but was unable attend the ceremony. He had been unfortunately diagnosed with ALS a few years prior and passed away shortly before accepting the honor. Kleindorfer’s acceptance remarks were given by former colleague Morris Cohen. 

Other Biographies

The Conference Board. Biographies: Paul R. Kleindorfer. Accessed June 9, 2015. (link)

University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School. 125 Influential People and Ideas: The Guru of Risk Management. June 9, 2015. (link)


United State Naval Acaademy, BS 1961

Carnegie Mellon University, PhD 1970 (Mathematics Genealogy)


Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas


University of Pennsylvania Almanac. Deaths:  September 18, 2012, Volume 59, No. 04  Accessed March 14, 2019. (link)

INSEAD In Memoriam Paul Kleindorger. Paul R. Kleindorfer: Farewell to a gentle giant. Accessed June 9, 2015. (link)

Awards and Honors

Best Paper in Energy Sponsored Session Award 2009

Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Operations Research Practice Finalist 2011

Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society Fellow 2012

Selected Publications

Crew M. A. & Kleindorfer P. R. (1978) Reliability and public utility pricing. The American Economic Review, 68(1): 31-40.

Crew M. A. & Kleindorfer P. R. (1979) Public Utility Economics. St. Martin's Press: New York.

Crew M. A. & Kleindorfer P. R. (1986)  The Economics of Public Utility Regulation. Macmillan Press: New York. 

Kleindorfer P. R., Kunreuther H. G., & Shoemaker P. J. H. (1993) Decision Sciences: An Integrative Perspective. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.  

Kleindorfer P. R. & Orts E. W. (1998) Informational regulation of environmental risks. Risk Analysis, 18(2): 155-170.

Grace M. F., Klein R. W., & Kleindorfer P. R. (2004) Homeowners insurance with bundled catastrophe coverage. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 71(3): 351-379.

Gunther R. E., Kleindorer P. R., & Wind Y. (2009) The Network Challenge: Strategy, Profit, and Risk in an International World. Wharton School Publishing: Philadelphia, PA. 

Kleindorfer P.R. & Li L. (2011) Portfolio risk management and carbon emissions valuation in electric power. Journal of Regulatory Economics, 40(3): 219-236.