Miley W. (Lee) Merkhofer

Photo President
Lee Merkhofer Consulting
22706 Medina Court
Cupertino, CA 95014

Professional Qualifications:

Dr. Merkhofer is a well-known author, researcher, and practitioner in the field of decision analysis. For more than 25 years he has helped clients evaluate alternatives and make better decisions, working in industries such as electric power, healthcare, high tech, manufacturing, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, and for federal, state, and local governments. Dr. Merkhofer served as Manager of Research Programs for the Decision Analysis Group, SRI International (1975-1983), Vice President of Applied Decision Analysis, Inc. (1984-1998), and Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC (1998-2001). He was a founding partner of the software company Folio Technologies LLC (2006-2011). Dr. Merkhofer has published over a three-dozen professional papers and is the author of two books on the decision and risk analysis.

Project Experience:

Project experience falls into 3 related areas:

  • Priority Systems. Priority systems allow organizations to improve their resource allocation processes. Dr. Merkhofer founded and led the priority system business practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. His current company is focused on providing high-quality, customized priority systems to clients at economical costs. He has developed systems for prioritizing research projects, capital investments, O&M expenditures, bids, business ventures, and training and education programs. Dr. Merkhofer received an award from the Operations Research Society of America for the priority system developed for the Department of Energy to prioritize sites for storing nuclear waste. Systems for risk management represent an important special case for priority systems. Examples include a system for prioritizing improvements to an oil and gas pipeline network and a system for ranking seismic upgrades for facilities operated by an electric utility.

  • Environmental Decision Analysis. In his capacity as head of the Environmental Applications at Applied Decision Analysis, Dr. Merkhofer conducted projects focused on: (1) compliance and environmental leadership (e.g., analyses of decisions related to site remediation, facility upgrade, process & product design/redesign, litigation support, sourcing decisions, and environmental performance assessment), (2) siting (site-selection studies include the award-winning analysis that resulted in the selection of Yucca Mountain as the location for the U.S. repository for nuclear waste), (3) risk management and prioritization systems (e.g., systems for prioritizing vulnerabilities at a DOE research facility and the system used by the Department of Energy to allocate a $1.5 billion environmental restoration budget), and (4) stakeholder involvement (e.g., applying collaborative decision-making processes to create effective, consensus-based solutions).

  • Project Strategy and Valuation. Real options analysis is the advance that explains, in part, the difference between an asset's intrinsic value (computed using traditional valuation techniques) and its actual market value (which represents the true value to owners). Decision analysis and real options have been combined to produce a much more accurate method for estimating the value of assets and projects. Among other applications, Dr. Merkhofer has used real options analysis to value a high-tech company's portfolio of patents, help an HR service provider maximize the value of a $20 million dollar investment in a new business, allow a steel manufacturer to optimize a pilot plant, and enable a telecommunications utility to evaluate alternative pricing structures.

Dr. Merkhofer has received research grants and awards from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (to conduct basic research in decision theory), the National Science Foundation (to improve methods for risk analysis, risk communication, and decision making under risk) and the Office of Naval Research (to develop automated decision aids), and the Department of Energy (to develop improved methodology for valuing and prioritizing projects).
Other Professional Experience

Dr. Merkhofer has served on advisory panels for the National Academy of Sciences, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Office of Technology Assessment, National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He has taught courses in regression analysis and forecasting theory for University of California and lectured on decision analysis at Stanford University.
  • Ph.D., Engineering-Economic Systems, Stanford University (1975)
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University (1971)
  • B.S., Physics (summa cum laude), Stanford University (1970)
Professional Awards and Affiliations
  • Winner, Best Decision Analysis Application of 1988, Decision Analysis Competition, Operations Research Society of America.
  • Runner up, Best Decision Analysis Application of 2000, Decision Analysis Competition, Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS).
  • Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi; National Science Foundation fellowship.
  • Elected officer, Decision Analysis Special Interest Group, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).
  • Elected officer, Society for Risk Analysis.
  • Member Board of Advisors, CA Advisors.
  • Affiliated with Applied Decision Analysis, a division of Standard and Poor's.

Risk Assessment Methods: Approaches for Assessing Health and Environmental Risks (with V.T. Covello), New York, Plenum, 1993.

Decision Science and Social Risk Management: A Comparative Evaluation of Cost-Benefit Analysis, Decision Analysis, and Other Formal Decision-Aiding Approaches, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1987.

Professional Papers

“Seven Keys to Implementing Project Portfolio Management,” published on, 2007.

“Comment on Influence Diagram Retrospective,” (with R. A. Howard, J. E. Matheson, A. C Miller, and D. W. North) Decision Analysis, Vol. 3, No. 2, June 2006.

“Formal Methods for Evaluating Transportation Projects,” The Urban Transportation Monitor, p. 1, July 2005.

“Using Scorecards to Prioritize Projects,” IG Newsletter, publication of The Innovation Groups, Tampa Florida, p. 7, June 2005.

“Value-Based Budgeting,” IG Newsletter, publication of The Innovation Groups, Tampa Florida, p. 6, May 2005.

“Surviving the Perfect Storm,” IG Newsletter, publication of The Innovation Groups, Tampa Florida, p. 3, April 2005.

“Prioitizing Projects,” IG Newsletter, publication of The Innovation Groups, Tampa Florida, p. 6, March 2005.

“Choosing the Wrong Portfolio of Projects,” published in 3 parts in The Measured, PMI Metrics SIG Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issues 1-3, March, June, and September 2004.

“Tools for Prioritizing Projects and Selecting Project Portfolio,” Proceedings of the First Annual Power Delivery Asset Management Workshop, New York, pp. 240-248, June 3-5, 2003. Also published as “Project Prioritization Tools - Which approach is Best?”,

“Mathematical Theory for Prioritizing Projects and Optimally Allocating Capital,” published on, 2002.

“Lessons Learned - Multi-attribute Utility Analysis Based Resource Allocation” (with E. Martin), Proceedings of the EPRI Power Delivery Asset Management Workshop, New York, pp. 215-222, June 3-5. Also published as “A Priority System for Allocating an O&M Budget”,

“Calculating ROI: The Full Measure” (with C. Alsdorf), HealthCare Informatics, Vol. 19, No. 8, 37-40, August 2002.

“Multiattribute Utility Analysis for Addressing Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act,” (with D. Dunning and Q. Ross) Environmental Science & Policy No. 3, S7-S14, 2000.

“Market Valuation and Decision Analysis in Brownsfields Cases,” (with T. Kabat) Environmental Compliance & Litigation Strategy, Vol. 14, No. 10, March 1999.

“Assessment, Refinement, and Narrowing of Options,” pp. 231-281 in V. H. Dale and M. R. English (eds.), Tools to Aid Environmental Decision Making, Springer, New York, 1998.

“An Innovative Approach to Multiple-Criteria Evaluation of Multimodal Alternatives: Newberg-Dundee Transportation Improvement Project Case Study,” (with M. Schwartz and R. Upton) pp. 139-148 in Land Use and Transportation Planning and Programming Applications, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, 1998.

“Multiattribute Utility Analysis as a Framework for Public Participation in Siting a Hazardous Waste Management Facility,” (with R. Conway and R. G. Anderson), Environmental Management, Vol. 21, No. 6, 831-839, 1997. New York, Springer-Verlag.

“A Priority System for Multimodal and Intermodal Transportation Planning,” (with M. Schwartz and E. Rothstein), Proceedings from the Sixth TRB Conference on the Application of Transportation Planning Models, Transportation Review Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1997.

“The US Department of Energy's Environmental Restoration Priority System,” (with K.E. Jenni and C Williams) in S. French and J.Q. Smith (eds.), The Practice of Bayesian Analysis, Wiley, New York, 1997.

“Risk-Based Prioritization of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Environmental Programs,” (with R. Anderson, M. Voth, and D. Sire), Proceedings of the ASME 1995 PVP Conference, July 1995.

“The Rise and Fall of a Risk-Based Priority System: Lessons from DOE's Environmental Restoration Priority System” (with K. Jenni and C. Williams), Risk Analysis 15(3), 397-410, June 1995.

“Decision Analysis of Hanford Underground Storage Tank Waste Retrieval Systems” (with D.A. Bitz, D.L. Berry, and L.J. Jardine), Proceedings of the 1993 International High Level Radioactive Waste Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 1993.

“A Decision Analysis of an Exploratory Studies Facility” (with P. Gnirk), Third International High-Level Radioactive Waste Conference, Las Vegas, April 1992.

“Using Influence Diagrams in Multiattribute Utility Analysis Improving Effectiveness Through Improving Communication,” pp. 297-317 in R.M. Oliver and J.Q. Smith (eds.), Influence Diagrams, Belief Nets, and Decision Analysis (Proceedings of the Conference on Influence Diagrams for Decision Analysis, Inference, and Prediction, held May 9-11, 1988, University of California, Berkeley), Chichester and New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1990.

“A Multiattribute Utility Analysis of Alternative Sites for the Disposal of Nuclear Waste” (with R.L. Keeney), Risk Analysis 7(2), 173-194, June 1987.

“Poultry Inspection in the United States: History and Current Procedures” and “Risk-Assessment Model for Poultry Inspection: Analytical Approach,“ (Chaps. 2 and 3) in Poultry Inspection: The Basis for a Risk -Assessment Approach Committee on Public Health Risk Assessment of Poultry Inspection Programs, Food and Nutrition Board, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1987.

“Quantifying Judgmental Uncertainty: Methodology, Experiences, and Insights,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC-17 (5), 741-752, September/October 1987.

“Use of Risk Comparisons to Aid the Communication and Interpretation of Risk Analyses for Regulatory Decision Making,” pp. 581-607 in L.B. Lave (ed.) Risk Assessment and Management (Proceedings of the Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting held October 1985), New York, Plenum, 1987.

“A Comparative Analysis of Formal Decision-Making Approaches,” pp. 183-219 in V.T. Covello, J. Menkes, and J. Mumpower (eds.), Risk Evaluation and Management (Contemporary Issues in Risk Analysis, Volume 1), New York, Plenum, 1986.

“An Approach for Assessing Health Risks Associated with Alternative Ambient Air Quality Standards,” in V.T. Covello, J. Mumpower, P.J. Stallen, and V.R. Uppuluri (eds.), Environmental Impact Assessment, Technology Assessment and Risk Analysis (NATO ASI Series, Vol. G4), New York, Springer-Verlag, 1985.

“A Decision Analytic Technology Assessment of Public Key Cryptography,” in R. L. Schultz (ed.), Applications of Management Science, Volume 4, Greenwich, CT, JAI Press, 1985.

“A Process for Technology Assessment Based on Decision Analysis,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 22, 237-265, 1982.

“Risk Assessment: Quantifying Uncertainty in Health Effects,” The Environmental Professional 3, 249-264, 1981.

“The Value of Information Given Decision Flexibility,” Management Science 23 (7), 716-727, March 1977.

“Analysis of Alternative Emissions Control Strategies,” in Air Quality Stationary Source Emission Control, U.S. Senate Committee on Public Works, Serial 94-1, U.S. Government Printing Office, pp. 540-71, 1976..

“Flexibility and Decision Analysis,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Stanford University, 1975.

“Cash Management: A Corporate Decision Model for Scheduling Short-Term Debts and Investments,” Applications in Decision Science Conference Proceedings, March 1973.