Edwin Stafford


  • Marketing and Strategy

Edwin Stafford


Ph.D., Marketing, Arizona State University, 1994
MBA, Santa Clara University, 1989
BA, Marketing, San Jose State University, 1987 Minor: Music/Opera Performance


Research Area(s)

Market diffusion of renewable energy, clean technology, and green products; sustainable entrepreneurship; "green marketing" strategy and message framing; sustainable transportation; air pollution outreach and social influence (the Inconvenient Youth effect).


USU Sustainability Educator Award - 2015
Huntsman Faculty Service Award - 2016
Green Business Award, Utah Business Magazine - 2021
Cazier Professor Lifetime Achievement - 2022
USU Presidential Award for Community Engagement - 2022


Edwin R. Stafford, Ph.D., is a professor of marketing whose research and expertise center on sustainable entrepreneurship and the marketing of renewable energy, clean technology, green products, and sustainability issues. His most recent research and outreach have centered on the annual Utah High School Clean Air Marketing Contest (with Dr. Roslynn Brain McCann, USU Extension Sustainability), which focuses on engaging teens about Utah’s air pollution, persuasive marketing messaging, and their social influence on their parents and family about taking action to preserve Utah’s air quality (also known as the “Inconvenient Youth” effect). This initiative has been featured in a variety of business and news outlets, including ForbesFast CompanyThe GuardianAir Quality News, the Deseret News, Tree Hugger, and PBS Utah. In 2021, Ed and Roslynn were recognized with the Green Business Award for the contest by Utah Business Magazine, and in 2022, with the USU Presidential Award for Community Engagement. 

Ed’s cross-disciplinary research has appeared in business, environmental policy, and sustainability journals, and his 2006 co-authored article, "Avoiding Green Marketing Myopia,” was recognized in 2014 as being one the of top 10 most cited articles in the diffusion of eco-innovation literature.  In 2020, his most recent research on green marketing with Dr. Antje Graul was entitled, “Turning Consumers Green,” and its findings have been featured in Forbes and CNBC

Over the years, Ed’s expertise and research has been featured in a variety of other news media, including The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek.com, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, KLS News, The Guardian, Free-Range Thinking, ScalingGreen.com, GreenBiz, Utah Public Radio, and the Christian Science Monitor. He is a frequent guest speaker for professional and civic groups, including STRATA, Summer Citizens, the Cache Clean Air Consortium, Utah American Marketing Association, Utah Advertising Federation, Bioneers, Rotary Club, Sunrise Sessions, AC Women’s Club, and other groups. He has also presented his research at other universities, including Penn State University, Babson College, Clark University, Santa Clara University, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, among others. He has advised for the Utah Energy Office and collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Wind Powering America in Golden, Colorado.

Ed’s applied research strives to make a difference in business practice, policy, and society, and he maintains a strong education outreach focus aligned with USU’s land grant mission to serve the state of Utah. Through grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation, Ed worked to help kick-start the wind industry in Utah, which resulted in published research, education outreach, and two peer-reviewed research documentary shorts, “Wind Uprising” (2010) and “Scaling Wind” (2013) with his colleagues Cathy Hartman (emeritus, Utah State University) and Michelle Nunez (GreenTech Films). These documentaries have been screened across the country. Ed has mentored many USU/Huntsman School students to pursue careers in renewable energy and clean technology, and they’ve been recruited by such agencies and firms as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Intermountain Wind & Solar, Wasatch Wind, Enel Green Power – North America, and ENYO Energy.

In April 2015, Ed won USU’s Inaugural Sustainability Educator Award, and he serves on the editorial review board for the journal, Sustainability and Climate Change. Ed and his wife, Betty, are avid cross-fitters and enjoy gardening and classical music.