AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2017 – Angela M. Evans, Dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, recently announced the selection of Associate Professor Varun Rai as Associate Dean for Research. Dr. Rai is filling the Associate Dean position previously held by Dr. Peter Ward, who stepped down in September 2016. The new appointments are effective September 2017.
Associate Dean for Research Varun Rai
As Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Rai will oversee the LBJ School’s broad portfolio of research efforts, facilitating funding, support, and structure for various innovative research initiatives. He will lead the development of a new research planning strategy and assess the resources and enhancements necessary for long-term implementation. Additionally, Dr. Rai will represent the LBJ School in University-wide research programs and operations, and serve as the central point of contact for the scholarship emerging from the School, facilitating a broad dissemination of innovative policy research generated at the LBJ School to scholarly and policy environments.
“The LBJ School’s innovative research is having deep impact in a range of important policy areas,” said Dr. Rai. “I am excited about the opportunity to work with the LBJ School’s highly talented faculty and student body to catalyze broader research collaborations with researchers and units within and beyond UT Austin, foster interdisciplinary research, and facilitate the translation of the School’s innovative policy research into effective policy impact.”
Dr. Rai currently directs the Energy Systems Transformation Research Group at the LBJ School and is a Faculty Affiliate at UT Austin's Energy Institute. He has held the Elspeth Rostow Centennial Fellowship since 2010 and was a Global Economic Fellow in 2009. From 2013–2015 he served as a commissioner for Austin Energy, the vertically-integrated, municipal electric utility for the City of Austin. Additionally, Dr. Rai serves on the Editorial Board of both The Electricity Journal and Energy Research & Social Science, for which he is also an Associate Editor.
Dr. Rai received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. His unique body of research work at the interface of energy systems, behavioral sciences, complex systems, and public policy is consistently lauded for its interdisciplinary and highly synergetic nature. Most recently, he was recognized with the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, established to honor persons who, at under the age of 40, have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy analysis and management.