BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sanya Carley, a professor at Indiana University’s O’Neill School for Public and Environmental Affairs, has received the prestigious David N. Kershaw Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). Established in 1983, the Kershaw Award recognizes a faculty member who, before the age of 40, has made distinguished contributions to the fields of public policy analysis and management.
The award is named for David N. Kershaw, the first president of Mathematica, a nonpartisan policy research firm whose mission is to improve public well-being. For more than 50 years, the organization has collaborated with industry experts around the world to pioneer research and policy advancements for the global good.
“Dr. Carley’s work sits at the critical intersection of data science and social science and highlights the impact that research and evaluation can have on informing public policy to improve the well-being of others,” said Paul Decker, president and CEO of Mathematica and a former president of APPAM. “Through her research and modeling, and importantly, her engagement with policy makers, Sanya Carley is leading progress in two of the greatest challenges of our time: climate change and equity.”
The award includes a $20,000 cash prize, which will be presented at APPAM’s annual conference in November. The prize is among the most prominent awards recognizing contributions to public policy and social science.
“We’re incredibly proud of Dr. Carley for earning this prestigious honor,” said O’Neill School Dean Siân Mooney. “To be recognized for such stellar achievements this early in her career is a testament to the work and dedication she’s invested in advancing the field of public policy. We couldn’t be more pleased to have Dr. Carley become the second O’Neill School scholar to earn the Kershaw Award, following in the footsteps of Dr. Deborah Freund.”
Freund, a former associate dean at the O’Neill School, won the award in 1991.
Carley teaches courses on energy economics, markets, and policy, as well as research design for the Certificate of Advanced Research and Inquiry undergraduate program. Much of her research focuses on efforts to advance innovation of low-carbon and efficient energy technologies in electricity and transportation, as well as sustainability industry-wide.
“My interest in public policy stems from a desire to provide useful, real-time knowledge about energy decisions,” said Carley. “The energy space is complex and requires a blend of technical, social, and economic perspectives, the integration of which challenges and motivates me.”
Carley’s work has been published in such esteemed industry journals as Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Environmental and Resource Economics, and Environmental Science & Technology.
“Sanya is a terrific scholar who has made contributions across many different areas of energy policy,” said O’Neill School Professor David Konisky. “But her contributions go well beyond research. She is a dedicated teacher and academic program director, and a leader in our profession. She sets a high bar for those of us privileged to work with her every day.”
As part of an ongoing evaluation of the equity and justice dimensions of the energy transition, Carley’s research has expanded to include energy insecure populations during COVID-19. This latter project, performed in conjunction with both colleagues and graduate students, and has informed government about the magnitude of such inequities and disparities in the energy space, how to measure and track these conditions over time, and how to build equity into energy and climate policy.
“I inspire my students by engaging them in scholarly actions,” Carley said. “This includes a robust set of readings and discussion forums, involving them in my research efforts, helping them with their own scholarly pursuits, and, most recently, by working together to produce a podcast on energy justice.”
A faculty member at Indiana University since 2010, Carley has received awards dedicated to her time in the classroom, including the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, the Most Personable Faculty Member Student Choice Award, and Campus Catalyst Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Carley joins such notable former Kershaw Award recipients as Esther Duflo, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2019.
“This award is an incredible honor,” said Carley. “I am beyond grateful to be listed alongside the previous Kershaw award winners, whom I have long admired.”
Carley earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and sustainable development from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning and a Master’s certificate in energy analysis and policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and doctorate in public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
About the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
The O’Neill School is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2022 "Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs" by U.S. News & World Report, the O'Neill School is one of the top-ranked programs in the country. Five of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings, including top-ranked concentrations in environmental policy and management; nonprofit management; and public finance.