Dorothy Robyn

Senior Fellow, ISE
Public Policy Expert


Dorothy Robyn, a Senior Fellow at the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy, is a public policy expert who writes and consults on policy issues related to energy, infrastructure and telecommunications.  She has 35 years of experience in government, academia and consulting.  From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Robyn was the Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service in the U.S. General Services Administration.  PBS is the real estate arm of the federal government and has been a leader in making federal buildings more energy efficient and sustainable.  From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Robyn was the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations & Environment in the Department of Defense, where she provided Department-wide oversight of U.S. military bases around the world, an $850 billion portfolio that includes 300,000 buildings and 28 million acres of land.  In that capacity, she led DoD’s facility energy initiative to reduce the military’s $4 billion-a-year facility energy bill and improve the energy security of military bases largely dependent on the commercial grid.  From 1993 to 2001, she was Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy on the staff of the White House National Economic Council, where she coordinated policy related to transportation and aviation, defense and aerospace, international telecommunications, and science and technology.  

Dr. Robyn previously was an assistant professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; a Principal with The Brattle Group, an economic consultancy; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.  She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and a Task Force on Federal Energy Management established by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.  She is currently doing foundation-funded research on how to make military bases more energy resilient, and she recently chaired a task force on infrastructure finance for the District of Columbia.  
Dr. Robyn is the author of Braking the Special Interests: Trucking Deregulation and the Politics of Policy Reform (University of Chicago Press, 1987); and (with William Baumol) Toward an Evolutionary Regime for Spectrum Governance: Licensing or Unrestricted Entry? (Brookings Press, 2006).

PhD, Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley
MPP, University of California at Berkeley
BA, Southern Illinois University

View all profiles