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Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills
Senior Research Area Specialist and Intermittent Lecturer in Program for the Environment, School for Environment and Sustainability
Arch. and U.P. (Taubman) » Urban and Regional Planning
Literature, Science, & Arts » Political Science
Literature, Science, & Arts » Program in the Environment
Public Policy (Ford)

As the Director of Graham's Center for EmPowering Communities, 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 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.

7. Affordable and Clean Energy
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
13. Climate Action