Maria T. Vargas is a Senior Program Advisor at the Department of Energy and the Director of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative. The goal of this broad program is to work with leaders in the public and private sectors to make American buildings at least 20 percent more efficient in the next decade. Prior to her work at DOE, Ms. Vargas was the Brand Manager for the ENERGY STAR program for almost 20 years while at the US Environmental Protection Agency. She has been involved in policy work on the issues of ozone depletion, global climate change, and related environmental and energy issues since 1985. Ms. Vargas received a Bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA) in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s degree from the University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon).