Carnegie Mellon University

Peter Adams presents Costa Samaras with the award

June 05, 2023

Recognizing Professor Samaras: Inaugural Recipient of the EPP Policy Impact Award

Professor Costa Samaras has been named the inaugural Policy Impact Award recipient from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. This annual recognition celebrates faculty members who have significantly influenced policy decisions or fostered public discourse on policy-related matters. The award alternates between acknowledging singular specific contributions and recognizing sustained impacts over a career. Samaras exemplifies the transformative power of engineering analysis and research in addressing climate change and advancing energy policy.

Samaras completed a joint PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy in 2008 and has played an instrumental role in shaping policy discussions related to climate change and decarbonization of energy systems.

Samaras’ impact in the media has been instrumental in amplifying his influence and increasing public awareness of energy-related challenges and solutions. By effectively communicating complex ideas to diverse audiences, Costa has emerged as a powerful force in driving change and inspiring broader engagement with energy policy matters.

For the past two and a half years, Samaras has taken public service leave from Carnegie Mellon to serve in the White House as the Principal Assistant Director for Energy and Chief Advisor for Energy Policy within the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Through his expertise, strategic guidance, and media presence, Costa has become a catalyst for meaningful change within the White House.

His dedicated service stands as a remarkable testament to the influential role that faculty members can play in shaping policy decisions and public discourse. It exemplifies the profound impact that can be achieved through the combination of engineering and policy expertise, particularly in addressing urgent societal challenges.