Vanessa Pena, Office of Technology Transitions

Vanessa Peña serves as the senior policy manager for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions. In this role, she advises and guides DOE strategic planning, policy, and priorities related to technology transfer, including complex issues in science and technology, innovation, economic competitiveness, and national security. 

She has deep experience conducting high-quality research and rigorous policy analysis for DOE and other federal stakeholders, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

Vanessa has published extensively on topics related to research and development programs and technology transfer across the federal research enterprise, public-private partnerships, STEM diversity, education and the workforce, international competitiveness, evaluation, and analyses of federal policies and authorities that govern these topics.

Prior to this role, she 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. Over her career, Vanessa has analyzed the biofuels value-chain in Honduras for World Wildlife Fund and the Netherlands Development Organization, promoted alternative transportation fuels with the London Mayor’s Office, advised on international climate and energy policies for Notre Europe, and conducted research at the National Centers for Scientific Research in France and Italy.

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.