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Jennie C. Stephens

Northeastern University

Based in

United States
North America

Jennie C. Stephens is the Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She is an internationally-recognized expert on renewable transformation, energy democracy, climate justice, and gender in energy innovation. Trained at Harvard and Caltech, she is a transdisciplinary academic with two decades of experience linking environmental science and technology with policy and social justice, social change and social innovations. Her book “Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy” (Island Press, 2020) highlights the need for diverse leadership to move us beyond the ineffective, narrow technocratic approach to climate and energy.  To advance climate justice, the book celebrates leaders who are tackling economic justice, health equity, housing for all and transit justice by linking with climate and energy transformation.  She also explores the role of higher education in social justice and climate justice, the challenges the influence of fossil fuel interests in colleges and universities.  As a scholar-activist and climate justice advocate, her research reveals how persistent focus on technological innovation delays the transformative social changes that are needed to advance climate justice.

Country(ies) of Specialty

United States Ireland

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Geoengineering Climate Justice Fossil fuels

How to Connect



Joshua A. Basseches,  Rebecca Bromley‑Trujillo, Maxwell T. Boykoff, Trevor Culhane, Galen Hall, Noel Healy, David J. Hess, David Hsu, Rachel M. Krause, Harland Prechel, J. Timmons Roberts, Jennie C. Stephens. 2022. Climate policy conflict in the U.S. states: a critical review and way forward, Climatic Change, 170(3-4).

Stephens, J.C., and Elizabeth Allen. “A Feminist Lens on Energy Democracy: Redistributing Power and Resisting Oppression through Renewable Transformation.” Routledge Handbook of Energy Democracy. Eds. Feldpausch-Parker, AM, et al.2022.

Stephens, J. C., Kashwan, P., McLaren, D., & Surprise, K. “Toward Dangerous US Unilateralism on Solar Geoengineering.” Environmental Politics (2022): 1-3. doi:10.1080/09644016.2022.2156182

Stephens, J C. “Climate Justice, Societal Transformation, and the Role of Higher Education.” Global Council for Science and Environment.

Stephens, Jennie C. “Beyond Climate Isolationism: A Necessary Shift for Climate Justice.” Current Climate Change Reports (2022). doi:10.1007/s40641-022-00186-6

Stephens, Jennie C. “Electrification: Opportunities for Social Justice and Social Innovation.” MRS Bulletin (2022).

Stephens, J.C. “Feminist, Antiracist Values for Climate Justice: Moving Beyond Climate Isolationism.” Sacred Civics: Building Seven Generation Cities. Eds. Agyeman, Julian, Tanya Chung-Tiam-Fook and Jayne Engle: Routledge, 2022. Print.

Jorgenson, Simon, and Jennie C. Stephens. “Action Research for Energy System Transformation.” Educational Action Research 30.4 (2022): 655-70. Print.

Sokol, Martin, and J C Stephens. “Monetary Policy and Ecological Crisis: Towards a Climate Justice Approach.” Paper presented at 26th Forum for Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policy (FMM) Conference on ‘Post-Keynesian Economics and Global Challenges’. 2022. Print.

Hallstrom, Niclas, JC Stephens, and Isak Stoddard. “What About Geoengineering? .” The Climate Book. Ed. Thunberg, Greta. London: Allen Lane, An Imprint of Penguin Books, 2022. Print.

Fitzgerald, Joan, Gloria Schmitz, and J.C. Stephens. “Leveraging Urban Climate Action for Transformative Social Justice.” Urban Climate Justice: Theory, Praxis, Resistance. Eds. Rice, Jennifer L., Anthony M. Levenda and Joshua Long: University of Georgia Press, 2022. Print.

Boyle, Alaina D. , and J.C. Stephens. “Higher Education Needs a New Mission: How About Climate Justice? .” Boston Globe September 4, 2022 2022, sec. Ideas. Print.

Stephens JC, Kashwan P, McLaren D, Surprise K. 2021. “The Dangers of Mainstreaming Solar Geoengineering: A critique of the National Academies Report,” Environmental Politics. October 18, 2021:1-10.

Stephens JC, Kashwan P, McLaren D, Surprise K. 2021. “The risks of solar geoengineering research,” Science. 2021;372(6547):1161-1161.

Jennie C. Stephens. 2020. “Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy,” Island Press (September 2020).

Kirsten E. Jenkins, Jennie C. Stephens, Tony G. Reames, & Diana Hernández. 2020. “Towards impactful energy justice research: Transforming the power of academic engagement,” Energy Research & Social Science (September 2020).

Jennie C. Stephens & Kevin Surprise. 2020. “The Hidden Injustices of Advancing Solar Geoengineering Research,” Global Sustainability (January 2020).

Elizabeth Allen, Hannah Lyons, & Jennie C. Stephens. 2019. “Women’s leadership in renewable transformation, energy justice, and energy democracy: Redistributing power,” Energy Research & Social Science (November 2019).

Noel Healy, Jennie C. Stephens, & Stephanie A. Malin. 2019. “Embodied energy injustices: Unveiling and politicizing the transboundary harms of fossil fuel extractivism and fossil fuel supply chains,” Energy Research & Social Science (February 2019).

Jennie C. Stephens. 2019. “Energy Democracy: Redistributing Power to the People Through Renewable Transformation,” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development (February 2019).

Jennie C. Stephens, Matthew J. Burke, Brock Gibian, Elie Jordi, & Richard Watts. 2018. “Operationalizing Energy Democracy: Challenges and Opportunities in Vermont’s Renewable Energy Transformation,” Frontiers in Communication (October 2018).

Jennie C. Stephens, Peter C. Frumhoff, & Leehi Yona. 2018. “The role of college and university faculty in the fossil fuel divestment movement,” Elements (May 2018).

Elizabeth Allen, Jennie C. Stephens, Georgine Yorgey, Chad Kruger, Sonya Ahamed, & Jennifer Adam. 2017. “Climate science information needs among natural resource decision-makers in the Northwest U.S.,” Climate Services (January 2017).

Jennie C. Stephens. 2014. “Time to stop investing in carbon capture and storage and reduce government subsidies of fossil-fuels,” WIREs Climate Change (April 2014).