Marilyn Brown Elected to National Academy of Sciences

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By Michael Pearson

Marilyn Brown, Regents Professor and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Her election to the prestigious organization, announced April 27, comes less than three months after her election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Brown becomes just one of four Georgia Institute of Technology faculty members elected to the NAS, and one of two with membership in both academies.

“I am honored to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and I look forward to the opportunities it will bring to advance the sustainable energy systems and policies the world so desperately needs,” Brown said.

Brown is an international leader in clean energy policy known for her pioneering work developing economic-engineering models incorporating behavioral and social science principles into policy analysis of energy systems. Her influential research quantified the “energy-efficiency gap,” which highlights the importance of promoting cost-effective energy conservation improvements as a tool to improve energy security and reduce the impact of climate change.

She is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III Assessment Report on Mitigation of Climate Change, Chapter 6.

Kaye Husbands Fealing, chair of the School of Public Policy and the College’s incoming dean, said Brown’s election was even more remarkable given her recent appointment to the National Academy of Engineering.

“I am thrilled, but in no way surprised, that the National Academy of Sciences has elected Marilyn as a member,” Husbands Fealing said. “She is a global leader in the important work of analyzing and advancing sustainable energy policy and has an outstanding record of scholarship and achievement in her field."

Brown’s Influential Career

Brown has been at Georgia Tech since 2006. Previously, she worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she served as director of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program and the Engineering Science and Technology Division. Brown also has served on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority and in advisory roles at the U.S. Department of Energy.

In 2000, she led the Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future project, which at the time was the most detailed carbon-reduction analysis funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Recently, she has been leading Drawdown Georgia, a multi-institution effort to identify the most promising solutions to reduce Georgia’s carbon emissions by 2030.

She credited colleagues and students in the School of Public Policy and from across Georgia Tech for their contributions to the research she pursues as head of the Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory.

"Georgia Tech is a wonderful place to pursue my research. I am surrounded by world-class colleagues and high-energy, top-tier students who are indispensable to making this work happen."

Two Other Georgia Tech Faculty Elected

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are nonprofit organizations formed to offer advice on the world’s most pressing issues.

According to the NAS, 2,403 U.S. scientists are currently serving as elected members of the organization, a status considered to be one of the highest professional honors for scientists.

In addition to Brown, Randall Engle of the School of Psychology and, Arkadi S. Nemirovski of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering were also elected to the NAS. Nemirovski is also an elected member of the NAE.

Brown, Engle, and Nemirovski join Mostafa A. El-Sayed, Regents Professor and Julius Brown Chair in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as members in the NAS. El-Sayed was elected to the NAS in 1980.

The School of Public Policy is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.


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  • Created By:mpearson34
  • Created:04/29/2020
  • Modified By:mpearson34
  • Modified:05/08/2020