The Boss Ladies Podcast podcast

Ep. 52: Advancing Federal Policy in Climate, Clean Energy Demonstration Projects, & Manufacturing with Tanya Das, Senior Associate Director of Energy Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center

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In this episode of The Boss Ladies Podcast, Manasi and Sualeha sit down with Tanya Das, who currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Energy Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center and advanced federal policy in climate, clean energy, and manufacturing. Prior to this work, Tanya served as the Chief Of Staff in the Office of Science at the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

We kick off this episode by discussing Tanya’s background in Electrical and Computer Engineering, where she also worked at the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships to evaluate interventions to improve retention rates and degree attainment in STEM students from underrepresented backgrounds at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Tanya also touches on her role post-grad where she worked to improve workforce development in the photonics industry for workers in the Central California region and how that inspired her decision to pivot in policy, where she served as a Congressional Fellow for Senator Chris Coons and supported his Economic Policy Team to advance measures around advanced manufacturing, technology commercialization, innovation, and workforce development.

In the second half of the episode, Tanya breaks down her experience working in federal policy at the HOR and at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Office of Science. Tanya speaks about the projects she worked on during her time at the DOE, the funding model of the DOE, and the role of energy-demonstration projects and how they’ve had fluctuating importance across federal programs in the past few decades. However, they can be a critical tool to accelerate the pace of deployment of key low-carbon technologies like clean hydrogen, advanced nuclear energy, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) from industrial facilities and power plants while also providing key information needed by the private sector to commercialize technology. Finally, we end the episode by discussing Tanya’s transition to the Bipartisan Policy Center, where she touches on the role of the think tank in developing legislation that appeals across party lines.

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