Anna J. Siefken
On Special Assignment at the Department of Energy
Anna J. Siefken, LEED AP BD+C, has spent her career making the business case for energy efficiency, climatetech innovation, and building performance as a means to address the world’s energy challenges and the global urgency of climate change. She is the inaugural Executive Director of The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University. Through programming, targeted outreach, mentoring, and partnerships, she guides the Institute’s 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. Her focus is on moving energy and climatetech innovation from the research lab to market. In 2021, the American Energy Society recognized the Scott Institute among universities as one of the “Top Ten Energy Elites.”
In 2020, Siefken was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy as a U.S. DOE Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Ambassador, a cohort of distinguished senior executives, academics, government officials, and thought leaders who serve as role models and advocates for women in clean energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) selected Siefken for the 2018 Energy Executives Leadership Academy. That same year, Siefken represented CMU as part of a City of Pittsburgh delegation to study district energy systems planning in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, at the invitation of the Danish Energy Agency. She is an Adjunct Faculty with the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.
Siefken co-created the University Energy Institute Leadership Collaborative, which brought together leaders from 157 university-based energy institutes to form a national network. During the 2019 in-person meeting, more than 100 leaders from 67 institutes, 32 states participated without travel support – the first meeting of its kind.
Siefken 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 NETL and NREL, and the Department of Energy. In addition to bringing new initiatives like the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s work on “Finding PA’s Solar Future” to students, Siefken spearheads CMU Energy Week, one of the largest events on campus that draws more than 100 speakers and 1,000 participants each year.
When she joined CMU in 2016, she served as Associate Director for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, a role in which she deepened engagements and developed a partnership strategy that fostered relationship-building programming and collaboration with industry, government, nonprofit organizations, foundations, universities, start-ups, and investor communities.
Prior to CMU, Siefken was the Pittsburgh 2030 District Director and Vice President of Strategic Engagement for the Green Building Alliance, one of the U.S. Green Building Council’s largest chapters. She shaped the governance and was a founding member of the national 2030 District Network’s Board of Governors. Previously, she was Principal at ICF International, where she led marketplace adoption of Energy Star products; before that, she served as head Merchant for energy efficient and sustainable product procurement at The Home Depot. Siefken graduated from Duke University.
A member of Leadership Pittsburgh XXXII, Siefken has been honored with the 2019 Women of Influence Award from the Pittsburgh Business Times, The Carnegie Mellon University 2018 Andy Award for Innovative and Creative Contributions, the 2018 Women of Achievement Award from Cribs for Kids, and the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2016 Women in Energy Leadership Award and the 2015 Energy Leadership Award for Corporate Social Engagement.