Graham Sustainability Institute

Sarah Mills

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Senior Project Manager

Sarah manages UM's partnership with the Michigan Office of Climate and Energy, helping communities across the state consider energy in their land use planning, zoning, and other policymaking. Through this work, she is developing templates, case studies, and other guidance documents that can help local governments across the state set policies related to clean energy.

Sarah also holds an appointment with the Ford School of Public Policy, where she teaches and conducts research at the intersection of energy policy and land use planning--especially in rural communities.  Her current work focuses on how renewable energy development impacts rural communities (positively and negatively), the disparate reactions of rural landowners to wind and solar projects, and how state and local policies facilitate or hinder renewable energy deployment.

Prior to joining Graham, Sarah's work experiences include distributing food for the Lutheran World Federation in South Sudan, directing sustainability programs for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and working on the marketing team for the ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World campaign.  She has a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, a master's in engineering for sustainable development from the University of Cambridge, a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University.  

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

My work contributes directly toward solving the United Nations SDGs listed below. Learn more.

Affordable and Clean EnergyDecent Work and Economic GrowthClimate Action


The affiliations listed below show engagement with the Graham Sustainability Institute.

  • Climate Center
    • Event Participant
  • Education Programs
    • Dow Programs
      • Doctoral Fellow
      • Distinguished Awards
        • Seed Grantee
    • Event Participant
  • Emerging Opportunities
    • Catalyst Grants
      • Team Member
  • General
    • Donor
    • Graham Staff
  • Planet Blue
    • Michigan Journal of Sustainability
      • MJS Contributor
      • MJS Editorial Board
    • Sustainability Cultural Indicators
  • Water Center
    • Event Participant