Leah Stokes

Assistant Professor

Office Location

Ellison 3716


American Politics, Energy and Environmental Politics, Public Policy, Methodology

Faculty in Political Science


  • Ph.D., Public Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.S. Political Science, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.P.A. Environmental Science & Policy, School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University


Leah Stokes’ research primarily examines public policy, public opinion and political behavior in North America, with a focus on energy and the environment. Her current book project examines the role of interest groups in expansion and retrenchment in renewable energy policies across US states, using qualitative and quantitative methods. Her work on energy and environmental politics has been published in journals including The American Journal of Political Science, Global Environmental Politics, Energy Policy, and Environmental Science & Technology. She also researches international environmental negotiations, particularly the Minamata Convention on mercury and the climate change negotiations. Other ongoing projects include estimating the effect of internet voting on electoral participation, predicting protests against wind energy, and understanding water districts’ response to the California drought. 

Stokes is affiliated with the the Center for Social Solutions to Environmental Problems and the Scholars Strategy Network. Her research has been supported by the Martin Family Fund, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada and the MIT Energy Initiative. Prior to academia, Leah worked at the Parliament of Canada, Resources for the Future and the Initiative for Policy Dialogue. She holds a BSc from the University of Toronto, an MPA from Columbia University and an MS from MIT.


Dr. Stokes' research examines public policy, with a focus on energy and climate change politics in North America. Her book project examines renewable energy policies in the United States, drawing on interest group and policy feedback theories. This works builds on her research on the politics surrounding Ontario, Canada's green energy laws.

Her other research focuses on political behavior, including the ramifications of local resistance to wind power, as well as public opinion on energy and the environment. She also study international environmental negotiations, with a focus on mercury and climate policy.


To view a full list of Dr. Stokes' publications, please click here