Vanessa Pena, Office of Technology Transitions

Vanessa Peña has been a dedicated environmental advocate for the better part of two decades and we are thrilled to welcome her to the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) as the Senior Policy Manager. In this role, Vanessa will advise and guide strategic planning, policy, and priorities around the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) technology transfer efforts.

She in an experienced public policy specialist skilled in conducting high-quality research and rigorous policy analysis for DOE and other federal stakeholders. Throughout her career, Vanesa has worked with:

  • Department of Defense
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • National Science Foundation
  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

At OTT, Vanessa will tackle complex issues in science and technology, innovation, economic competitiveness, and national security. She has published extensively on topics related to research and development programs and technology transfer across the federal research enterprise. She has also focused on public-private partnerships, STEM diversity, education and the workforce, and international competitiveness. 

Prior to this role, Vanessa was a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute. She also served as the head of engineering for a small business in the aerospace industry. She has a strong familiarity of global energy and climate issues through her international work.

Vanessa holds dual master’s degrees from Columbia University and the London School of Economics in political science and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and biomedical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Read more about Vanessa on our Leadership & Staff page.