Leah C. Stokes is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She works on energy, climate, and environmental policy. Her award-winning book Short Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups and the Battle over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States (Oxford University Press, 2020) examines why we are behind on climate action, telling the history of fossil fuel companies and electric utilities promoting climate denial and delay.
At Radcliffe, Stokes is writing a book documenting how climate policy rose to the top of the agenda, became a priority in Congress, and eventually became law through the Inflation Reduction Act. This project will use ethnography and interviews with leading organizers and policymakers.
Stokes holds a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in public policy and additional degrees from Columbia University and the University of Toronto. She has been published in top scholarly journals as well as in the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. Stokes was named to the 2022 TIME100 Next list. She is a senior policy consultant at Rewiring America and cohost of the popular climate podcast A Matter of Degrees.