Valerie J. Karplus is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Karplus studies resource and environmental management in organizations operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with a focus on the role of institutions and management practices in explaining performance. Areas of expertise include decarbonization of global corporate and industrial supply chains, regional approaches to low carbon transition, and the integrated design and evaluation of energy, air quality, and climate policies. Karplus has taught courses on public policy analysis, global business strategy and organization, entrepreneurship, and the political economy of energy transitions. At CMU, she runs the Laboratory for Energy and Organizations at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, where she is a faculty affiliate. Karplus is also a faculty affiliate of the MIT Energy Initiative, the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

She has previously worked in the development policy section of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow, and in the biotechnology industry in Beijing, China, as a Luce Scholar. From 2011 to 2016, she co-founded and directed the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project, a five-year research effort focused on analyzing the design of energy and climate change policy in China, and its domestic and global impacts. Karplus previously served on the faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Karplus holds a BS in biochemistry and political science from Yale University and a Ph.D. in engineering systems from MIT.