Critical Minerals: Ensuring America's Future

Briefing Date:

Rare-earth elements (REE) and other critical mineral resources are essential to daily life, jobs, and national security. From cell phones to renewable energy to jet fighters, these resources are the building blocks of modern civilization. World population growth and rising standards of living in countries like China, India, and Brazil have increased the demand for mineral resources – raising the potential for supply disruptions and international conflict. Pending Congressional legislation and daily news headlines indicate a pressing need for action. Join us for up-to-date information on this important topic.



Congressional Sponsor: The following links leaves the USGS site.

  • Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)
    House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals

Hosted by: The following link leaves the USGS site.

Audio File: The following link leaves the USGS site.

  • Click to listen.
    Audio file courtesy of Environmental and Energy Study Institute


Speaker Biographies

Joseph Gambogi

Joseph Gambogi is a mineral commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey. For more than 20 years, he has studied the supply of and demand for materials including hafnium, silicon, titanium, and zirconium. He is a past recipient of the USGS Shoemaker Award for Communications Product Excellence and has served as an advisor to the Strategic and Critical Materials Working Group. Gambogi is currently responsible for preparing the USGS reviews on rare earths and serves as the USGS representative on the Defense National Stockpile (DNS) Market Impact and Civilian Advisory Committees. He is a graduate of Drexel University with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy is Executive Director of the American Geosciences Institute of Alexandria, Virginia. Leahy served as the U.S. Geological Survey’s Acting Director in 2005 and Associate Director for Geology for several years prior, where he was responsible for Federal basic earth science programs, including worldwide earthquake, volcano, and landslide monitoring and research, on- and offshore geologic mapping, energy and mineral resource assessments, and USGS international activities. Leahy is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He is a member and served as chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Committee for Geological Sciences. He has a doctorate in geology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s and master’s in geology and geophysics from Boston College.

Lawrence Meinert

Lawrence Meinert is the Mineral Resources Program Coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey and concurrently serves as the editor in chief of Economic Geology, the leading scientific journal of mineral resources. Prior to joining the USGS, Meinert was a Congressional Science Fellow. Earlier he was Professor of Geology at Smith College and Washington State University. He has received numerous awards, including Society of Economic Geologists – Silver Medal 2010; Fulbright Senior Specialist (Argentina); and National Science Foundation Senior Visiting Scientist (Japan). He received his doctorate in geology from Stanford University and has a bachelor’s in geology from Carleton College.

Jonathan Price

Jonathan Price is a consulting geologist and Nevada State Geologist Emeritus. He was the State Geologist and Director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology from 1988 to 2012. His geological career includes experience with industry in exploration and mining, teaching undergraduate and graduate geology courses and supervising graduate theses. Price is the Treasurer of the Geological Society of America, Vice President of the Geological Society of Nevada, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. Price has received many awards, including the American Geological Institute’s Ian Campbell Award for Superlative Service to the Geosciences. He earned a bachelor's degree in geology and German from Lehigh University and master's and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of California, Berkeley.

For information on the Briefing on Capitol Hill, please call 703-648-4455.

Non-USGS Speaker(s):