Dorothy Robyn

Dorothy Robyn
Senior Fellow
Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy

Dorothy Robyn is a member of ITIF’s board. She is a public policy expert who writes and consults on transportation, energy, and telecommunications policy, and a non-resident senior fellow with Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy.

 

Dr. Robyn served in the Obama administration as deputy undersecretary of Defense for Installations & Environment, where she had DoD-wide oversight of U.S. military bases around the world (2009-2012), and as commissioner of public buildings at the U.S. General Services Administration (2012-2014). 

 

From 1993-2001, she was a special assistant to the president for economic policy on the staff of the White House National Economic Council, where she coordinated policy issues related to aviation, aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and science and technology. Her role in preventing the destruction of the Iridium satellite system following its 1999 bankruptcy is recounted in John Bloom’s award-winning 2016 book Eccentric Orbits: the Iridium Story. 

 

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 two National Research Council standing boards on energy and infrastructure, respectively; the World Resources Institute’s Global Leadership Council; and the board of directors of the nonprofit U.S. Ignite. 

 

Dr. Robyn is the author of Braking the Special Interests: Trucking Deregulation and the Politics of Policy Reform (University of Chicago Press) and Toward an Evolutionary Regime for Spectrum Governance: Licensed or Unrestricted Entry (Brookings Press) with William J. Baumol.

 

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 Publications

July 31, 2019

In an article for Issues in Science and Technology, Dorothy Robyn and Jeffrey Marqusee explain how the Department of Defense’s research and innovation system is well-suited to advancing clean energy technologies in both the military and civilian sectors.

March 19, 2019

As Dorothy Robyn and Jeffrey Marqusee write for RealClearEnergy, many key technologies for the civilian energy sector could be advanced if the Department of Defense and Department of Energy collaborated more effectively.

March 5, 2019

The Defense Department will invest $1.6 billion this year in research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) that is directly related to energy. This report recommends how to leverage those investments for civilian energy innovation without compromising their military value.

Recent Events and Presentations

March 5, 2019

ITIF released a comprehensive report on DOD’s energy innovation effort and hosted an expert panel discussion on its relevance to the fight to reduce carbon emissions, including ways civilian agencies might better leverage DOD’s investments.

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.