Leah Stokes

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Leah Stokes
Stokes testifying before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee in 2021
EducationUniversity of Toronto (BS)
Columbia University (MPA)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
Scientific career
FieldsEnergy, climate and environmental politics
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
ThesisPower Politics: Renewable Energy Policy Change in US States (2015)
Doctoral advisorLawrence Susskind

Leah Cardamore Stokes is a Canadian-American political scientist specializing in environmental policy.[1][2] She is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[3] In addition, Stokes is a senior policy consultant at Evergreen Action and Rewiring America.[4][5] She also hosts the climate change podcast A Matter of Degrees. Her research focuses on political behavior, public opinion, and the politics of energy and environmental policy in the United States.

Early life and education[edit]

Stokes earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and East Asian studies at the University of Toronto.[6] She completed a Master of Public Administration at Columbia University. After graduating, Stokes worked at Resources for the Future. She went on to work at the Parliament of Canada.[7] Her role involved policy analysis for Members of Parliament working on the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee, and the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. In 2010, Stokes moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a master's degree and a doctorate under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind. At MIT, Stokes created environmental policy curriculum, including The Mercury Game, a treaty negotiation that has been used by over 100 universities around the world.[8]


In 2015, Stokes joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on energy policy and environmental policy in the United States.[9] She has investigated the interaction between public opinion and policy making on renewable energy.[10] She has also looked at how the design and presentation of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) changes public support for a particular policy. She has also published research on backlash against renewable energy projects. Her recent work examines Congressional staff and their understanding of public opinion.

Stokes is also a senior policy consultant at Evergreen Action and Rewiring America, where she focuses on federal policy advocacy to address climate change and accelerate electrification.[11] In September 2021, she gave testimony on electrification to the Joint Economic Committee in Congress.[12] Tina Smith, Senator for Minnesota, described Stokes as a "powerhouse contributor" to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the largest investment into addressing climate change in United States history.[13]

In October 2020, Stokes and Katharine Wilkinson started the podcast A Matter of Degrees, in which they discuss the levers of power that have created the climate problem and the tools to fix it.[14]

Awards and honours[edit]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ @leahstokes (January 9, 2020). "I'm Canadian. Thanks" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ @leahstokes (December 17, 2021). "A very happy day for me! After more than a decade living in this country, I'm now an American citizen. Feeling very…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Stokes, Leah. "About". Leah Stokes.
  4. ^ "Who We Are". Evergreen Action.
  5. ^ "About Us". Rewiring America.
  6. ^ "Leah Stokes". kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu. September 19, 2019. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  7. ^ "Leah C. Stokes". EPIC. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Mercury Game". mercurygame.scripts.mit.edu. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  9. ^ "Leah Stokes". Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  10. ^ "Bolstering public support for state-level renewable energy policies". MIT News. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  11. ^ Stokes, Leah. "The Electric Explainer: The Inflation Reduction Act". Rewiring America. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  12. ^ "Examining the Economic Benefits of Electrifying America's Homes and Buildings". Joint Economic Committee. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  13. ^ "2022 TIME100 Next: Leah Stokes". Time. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  14. ^ "Listen". A Matter of Degrees. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  15. ^ "Award Recipients - 2018". www.mpsanet.org. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  16. ^ "David P. Baron Award". Cambridge Core. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  17. ^ "ITIF Energy Innovation Boot Camp for Early Career Scholars". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ "This professor wants you to give up your climate guilt". Grist. April 8, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  19. ^ Logan, Jim (August 31, 2020). "Leah Stokes Earns Prestigious Plous Award". University of California - Santa Barbara. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  20. ^ "Energy People of the Year" (PDF). American Energy Society. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  21. ^ "Climate Action 30: Top global leaders working toward climate solutions". businessinsider.com. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  22. ^ Smith, Tina (September 28, 2022). "2022 TIME100 NEXT - Leah Stokes". Time. Retrieved November 11, 2022.

External links[edit]