Our Team

Karen Wayland, Ph.D.

Special Advisor for Energy and Environment
Washington, DC

Dr. Karen Wayland serves as a Special Advisor for Energy and Environment to the HBS federal practice group in Washington. She is a recognized expert in national energy and environmental policy and served in leadership positions in Congress, the Obama Administration and nonprofits. 

Dr. Wayland has helped shape the national dialogue on energy and environmental policies as the global energy landscape has evolved at an unprecedented rate. She provides clients a valuable perspective based on decades of experience advising decision makers at the highest levels of government, industry and advocacy organizations. 

Dr. Wayland is currently the CEO of GridWise Alliance where she has been a policy advisor for the past year. Additionally, she has been providing strategic consulting on energy policy, coalition building and communications for major clean energy companies, national environmental organizations, local officials, and foundations through her consulting firm kW Energy Strategies. 

Dr. Wayland served in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy where she established a team for Secretary Ernest Moniz to conduct analyses and develop strategies for DOE’s work with states and local authorities. She also served on the leadership team for the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and was the primary author of the QER “Modernizing the Grid” chapter and policy recommendations. Dr. Wayland also served as Senior Advisor for Domestic Energy Policy to Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.   

Earlier, Dr. Wayland worked on energy and climate legislation for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid when he was Majority Whip. She has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations, including as CEO of the Clean Energy Project, Legislative Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Director on the Board of Center for Sustainable Energy, and Distinguished Associate at former Secretary Moniz’ think tank Energy Futures Initiative. 

Dr. Wayland is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy and an Equity in Energy Ambassador at the US DOE. She holds a Master of Science from the University of Connecticut and a Dual Ph.D. in the fields of geochemistry and resource development from Michigan State University.