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About Us

The CAES Energy Policy Institute is a non-partisan and evidence-based research and advising center that specializes in bridging engineering and economic understanding of energy systems with applied, social and technical analysis.

We work with policymakers, industry, and communities to advance understanding of trade-offs that are inherent in choices about clean, resilient, and secure energy systems. As the policy hub for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies consortium (CAES),* our team and partners draw on integrative strengths in policy & regulation, science & engineering, as well as business & economics to advance planning and policy.

With external funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Sloan Foundation, and Western Governors’ Association, among funders, the Institute completes projects on a range of topics. Key areas of current focus include: Wildfires and the grid; Energy jobs in economic restructuring; Cyber-security for critical energy systems, such as nuclear plants; Electric vehicle adoption, infrastructure and standards in integrated planning; Microgrids and planning for resilience; Storage and electricity markets; Transportation, energy and urban growth; etc.

*Note: The CAES consortium focuses on research, education and innovation. It consists of Idaho National Laboratory and public university partners in the Intermountain West.

Core Team

Dr. Kathleen Araújo, Director and Associate Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems, Innovation, and Policy, kathleenaraujo@boisestate.edu

Dr. Kathleen Araújo is responsible for the strategic direction and executive management of the CAES Energy Policy Institute. She specializes in policy and planning associated with energy system change and resilience. This includes social and technical aspects of low carbon management, as well as the resilience of critical energy infrastructure in extreme weather events. Her book, Low Carbon Energy Transitions: Turning Points in National Policy and Innovation (Oxford University Press), examines the history of decarbonization in countries following the 1973 oil crisis. In current work, Dr. Araújo has been evaluating regional revitalization strategies in traditional fossil fuel-based economies that are diversifying.

In conjunction with Dr. Araújo’s energy system change focus is her related work on regional innovation systems,  sustainability and science-technology policy. She has evaluated the role of skills and infrastructure repurposing in energy industry clusters, the global sustainability tradeoffs of biofuels, plus international regulation of cyber-nuclear risk and post-Fukushima nuclear safety. Dr. Araújo consults for industry and inter-governmental organizations. For more information, see https://www.boisestate.edu/news/2020/02/26/innovative-partnership-powers-student-education-in-21st-century-opportunities-and-challenges-in-energy/

Ms. Cassandra Koerner, Assistant Director of Research, Communications & Development, cassiekoerner@boisestate.edu

Ms. Cassandra Koerner joined the EPI team in March 2020 as the Assistant Director of Research, Communications, and Development. She brings years of experience working in the public sector as a regulator, researcher, technical writer, and budget manager as well as a private contractor. Her education and experience provide a scientific and technical framework on which to build policy investigations. She has published articles and book chapters regarding small modular nuclear reactors, nuclear perceptions, energy efficiency, renewable energy in the west, carbon sequestration, and international carbon markets, as well as others on general energy and environmental issues. Koerner holds a Master of Public Administration from Boise State University (2012) and a Master of Arts in political science and environmental policy from Colorado State University (2016). She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource conservation from the University of Montana (2005).

Dr. Stephanie Lenhart

Dr. Stephanie Lenhart, Senior Research Associate and Assistant Research Professor, stephanielenhart@boisestate.edu

Stephanie Lenhart is a Senior Research Associate with the Energy Policy Institute and is faculty in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. She studies energy system governance, environmental policy implementation, and inter-organizational collaboration. Recent work has focused on decision-making by public utilities and electric cooperatives and inter-organizational collaboration in regional transmission organizations.

Jacob Placido, Business Manager, jakeplacido@boisestate.edu

Jake Placido is the Energy Policy Institute team’s Business Manager and a Boise native who enjoys all the classic Idaho activities. After completing his undergraduate studies at Boise State, he served in the United States Coast Guard. Following his service, he worked in the financial services sector and completed a Professional MBA with Boise State.

Partners & Board

Affiliate Researchers

Meet our Affiliates

Advisory Board

Meet the Advisory Board
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