Carnegie Mellon University

Anna J. Siefken Headshot

April 20, 2022

Scott Institute's Siefken Joins Office of Technology Transitions at the DOE

By Kristen Whitlinger

We are pleased to announce the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation’s Anna J. Siefken will take a leave of absence from her position as Executive Director to join the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) as a Commercialization Executive.

OTT serves as the central hub for the technology transfer activities across the Department of Energy’s extensive R&D enterprise. The office ensures groundbreaking scientific discoveries achieve their maximum public return and impact, advancing the economic, energy, and national security interests of the United States.

“Thank you to my amazing colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University and CMU Scott Institute for Energy Innovation for the opportunity to expand our collective research and innovation work via this important cross cutting role, driving towards a more sustainable, low carbon energy future. There is much to do.” Anna J. Siefken said with the announcement on Tuesday.

As the inaugural Executive Director of the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, Siefken’s 5.5 years with the Institute has guided efforts to optimize energy resources, reduce the environmental impacts of energy production and use, and develop breakthrough technologies that will have meaningful impact and accelerate the transition to a sustainable, low carbon energy future through programming,  targeted outreach, mentoring and partnerships. In 2020, the American Energy Society recognized the Scott Institute among universities as one of the “Top Ten Energy Elites” for the first time. Her focus on moving energy and climate tech innovation from the research lab to market will continue with her role at the Office of Technology Transitions, accelerating the transition to a sustainable, low carbon energy future with meaningful global impact.

Anna co-created the University Energy Institute Collaborative (UEIC) in 2019, which brought together leaders from more than 150 university-based energy institutes to form a national network; the initiative has been featured in ScienceDirect. In addition to bringing new initiatives to CMU, Anna spearheaded CMU Energy Week, one of the largest events on campus that draws more than 100 speakers and 1,000 participants, growing exponentially each year since 2016.

Anna has initiated engagements with dozens of organizations, and has increased university partnerships with industry, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Energy office, national labs including National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and NREL, and DOE. The Scott Institute has served as a Power Connector with the DOE’s American-Made Solar Prize since the program’s inception. Scott Institute has most recently partnered with OTT to host the inaugural national finals of the EnergyTech University Prize (UP) competition as a part of CMU Energy Week 2022.

“Anna is an outstanding leader and collaborator, and I have no doubt she will flourish in this position,”  Jay Whitacre, Director of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation said.  “I wish her all the best and look forward to her return to CMU.”

We have begun the search for our new Executive Director. If you or someone you know is interested in the position, please find more details here.