Dorothy Robyn

Dorothy Robyn
Senior Fellow
Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy

Dorothy Robyn is a member of ITIF’s board.


Dr. Robyn is a public policy expert who writes and consults on policy issues related to energy, transportation, and telecommunications. She has 35 years of experience in government, academia, and consulting.


From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Robyn was the commissioner of the Public Buildings Service (PBS) in the U.S. General Services Administration. PBS is the real estate arm of the federal government.


From 2009 to 2012, she was the deputy under secretary of defense for installations and environment in the U.S. Department of Defense, where she provided department-wide oversight of U.S. military bases around the world, an $850 billion portfolio that includes 300,000 buildings and 28 million acres of land.


From 1993 to 2001, she was special assistant to the president for economic policy on the staff of the White House National Economic Council, where she coordinated policy related to transportation and aviation, defense and aerospace, international telecommunications, and science and technology.


Dr. Robyn previously was an assistant professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; a principal with The Brattle Group, an economic consultancy; and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.


She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and participated in a Task Force on Federal Energy Management established by former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. She co-authored a recent Pew-funded report on microgrids and the energy security of U.S. military bases. She recently chaired a task force on infrastructure for the District of Columbia.

Dr. Robyn is the author of Braking the Special Interests: Trucking Deregulation and the Politics of Policy Reform (University of Chicago Press); Toward an Evolutionary Regime for Spectrum Governance: Licensed or Unrestricted Entry (Brookings Press) (with William J. Baumol); and Making Waves: Alternative Paths to Flexible Use Spectrum (Aspen Institute).

She has a B.A. from Southern Illinois University and an M.P.P. and Ph.D. in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Recent Events and Presentations

April 26, 2018

Please join ITIF for the release of an MIT Energy Initiative working paper. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and MIT Professor Bill Bonvillian, will present their findings and discuss policy options for grid-scale storage with an expert panel.

December 13, 2016

Join ITIF for a discussion abut the future of federal clean energy innovation policy and the release of a new report on energy innovation priorities.

January 18, 2012

With its vast holdings, the government has learned a thing or two about procurement and coordinating construction management and it plays a critical role in setting standards and undertaking industry-related R&D.

March 31, 2011

Members of Congress, senior leaders from the Department of Defense and leading thinkers in the private and NGO sectors discuss energy innovation at DOD.