Jennifer DiStefano is the Deputy Director of Research at the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), where she builds upon her background in scientific research of energy technology to advance evidence-based solutions for clean energy challenges and climate change.
Dr. Distefano spent several years conducting laboratory research on advanced materials to help solve existing energy challenges. She was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and International Institute of Nanotechnology Ryan Fellowship to complete her Ph.D. research, which focused on integrating various nanomaterials to capture and emit light for applications such as light emitting diodes and photovoltaics. This work resulted in ten peer-reviewed original research publications, four conference presentations, a U.S. patent application, and a scientific review paper.
As a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Distefano supported scientifically grounded federal energy policy. During her fellowship, she worked with the Board on Energy and Environmental Science to provide research and analysis on various energy technologies for consensus studies on light-duty vehicles, deep decarbonization, and electric grid modernization. She has further engaged in science policy and outreach activities as a policy brief writer for Duke SciPol and member of the Materials Research Society’s Government Affairs Committee.
Dr. DiStefano received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Science in materials science and engineering from Penn State University. Further, she holds a Certificate in Management for Scientists and Engineers from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.