Maria Tikoff Vargas
Senior Program Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Director, Better Buildings Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy
Maria T. Vargas has been involved in policy work on the issues of ozone depletion, global climate change, and related environmental and energy issues since 1985. Her current position is Senior Program Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where she is Director of the Office’s Better Buildings Initiative. Through Better Buildings, DOE works with leaders in the public and private sectors to make U.S. buildings at least 20 percent more efficient in the next decade. Hundreds of chief executive officers, university presidents, and state and local leaders are partnering with DOE, upgrading buildings across their portfolios, and sharing innovative solutions and strategies as models for others to follow. Prior to her work at DOE, Vargas served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the Brand Manager for the ENERGY STAR program, a position she held for almost 20 years. She was also the Director of the Green Lights Partnership. In 2014, she was inducted into the Energy Efficiency Hall of Fame. Vargas received a BA from Swarthmore College in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon.