Amanda Stevens

Location: 
Pasadena, California (Greater Los Angeles Area)
Industry: 
Environmental Services
Current: 
Project Manager, Southern California Edison
Degree Program: 
MS Public Policy, 2004

"Policy training in areas such as policy analysis, evaluation, economics, and business complement one another, since they provide you with multiple tools and ways to approach policy issues.  I really enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the policy program.”

Amanda received her BS in physics from RIT and upon completion realized that rather than work in a lab, she wanted to pursue a career that would build upon her interest in the history of technology and science policy.  While she learned in class that there were  plenty of policy issues where the expertise of scientists and engineers are critical, she also understood that a solid grasp of the technical issues wasn’t enough to impact the policy process. She needed to learn how to analyze and implement policies as well. Thus, she entered the MS in Public Policy Program at RIT to develop this skill set.

Amanda’s thesis focused on the adoption of LED lighting technology and its impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Amanda pursued a National Academics of Science fellowship during her time at RIT.  The program aims to expose graduate students in STEM fields to the science policy world and includes a component that allowed her to work in Washington, DC for 3 months.  Her time there was spent attending Congressional hearings, developing policy briefings, and helping organize committee meetings.

Upon graduation in 2004, Amanda’s fellowship with the NSF turned into a job as a research assistant working in the policy office supporting the National Science Board, a presidentially-appointed board that had responsibility for both policy making in the NSF and advising the President and Congress on science and technology policy issues.

Being interested in energy policy in addition to science policy, Amanda decided to return to school to earn a second Master degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.  After graduating again, she started working in the energy efficiency industry for a consulting company called Energy Solutions in Northern California as a project manager.  She was responsible for assisting major utilities clients with evaluating, developing and advocating for new energy efficiency standards in the state of California.

In 2010, Amanda joined the EPA and moved to Washington, DC to work as a program manager in the ENERGY STAR program where she was responsible for managing their home appliance portfolio.  After three years managing reviews, updating technical product specifications, and developing ENERGY STAR’s first label for clothes dryers, Amanda returned to the West Coast to work for Southern California Edison.  She is extremely grateful for all of her professional experiences, but feels this opportunity will give her the chance to focus on the energy efficiency program design and strategy topics that she originally studied for her Public Policy Master’s thesis at RIT.