Brian Anderson, Ph.D. Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Executive Director, The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D., was named executive director of the Biden Administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization in April 2021. In this role, Anderson strategically leverages national laboratory resources and expertise to help ensure the shift to a clean energy economy creates good-paying union jobs, spurs economic revitalization, remediates environmental degradation and supports energy workers in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities. Anderson led development of the IWG’s initial report that included recommendations to catalyze robust economic activity and support workers in America’s energy sector; these recommendations are now driving revitalization efforts in Appalachia and across the nation.
A longtime resident of West Virginia and a descendant of coal miners, Anderson brings extensive expertise in regional innovation and technology development for the energy sector. He has served as Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) since 2018, where he manages the complete NETL complex, including delivery and execution of the Laboratory’s mission and national programs in carbon-based energy and program support to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Electricity; and Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response. Under Anderson’s leadership, NETL initiated critical technology development and deployment projects including direct air capture technologies for decarbonization, chemical looping combustion with potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and non-variable renewable energy for future low-carbon power systems. Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at West Virginia University and his master’s and doctorate in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Briggs White, Ph.D. Advisor to the Office of the Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Deputy Executive Director, The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Briggs White, Ph.D., serves as deputy executive director of the Biden Administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization. In this role, he works hand in hand with the 11 federal agency members of the IWG to advance its mission. The IWG is identifying and coordinating opportunities to connect energy communities for federal investments to help ensure the shift to a clean energy economy creates good-paying union jobs, spurs economic revitalization, remediates environmental degradation and supports energy workers in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities. Prior to being appointed deputy executive director, White was central to a multi-agency effort to prepare the IWG’s initial report, which described existing mechanisms and provided recommendations for future actions that could support and revitalize the economies of energy communities.
White joined the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in 2007 and most recently served as a technology manager for three research and development programs, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management: High Performance Materials, Water Management, and Energy Storage. He is currently based out of NETL’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, site and worked at NETL’s Morgantown, West Virginia, site from 2007 to 2015. White holds degrees in materials science and engineering from Alfred University (B.S.), the University of Florida (M.S., Ph.D.) and the University of Rome (Ph.D.) with an emphasis on solid-state high-temperature electrochemical devices.
Jennifer Granholm Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy Administrator, The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Jennifer M. Granholm was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of Energy on February 25, 2021, becoming just the second woman to lead the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Secretary Granholm is leading lead DOE in helping America achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by advancing cutting-edge clean energy technologies, creating millions of good-paying union clean energy jobs, and building an equitable clean energy future. Secretary Granholm will also oversee DOE’s core missions of promoting American leadership in scientific discovery, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing nuclear danger, and remediating the environmental harms caused by legacy defense programs.
Prior to becoming U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm was the first woman elected Governor of Michigan, serving two terms from 2003 to 2011.
As Governor, Jennifer Granholm faced economic downturns caused by the Great Recession and meltdown in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. She successfully led efforts to diversify the state’s economy, strengthen its auto industry, preserve the manufacturing sector, and add emerging sectors — such as clean energy — to Michigan’s economic portfolio. Today, one-third of all North American electric vehicle battery production takes place in Michigan, the state is one of the top five states for clean energy patents, and 126,000 Michiganders were employed in the clean energy sector prior to COVID-19.
Secretary Granholm was also the first woman elected Attorney General of Michigan and served as the state’s top law enforcement officer from 1998 to 2002.
After two terms as governor, Jennifer Granholm joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as a Distinguished Professor of Practice in the Goldman School of Public Policy, focusing on the intersection of law, clean energy, manufacturing, policy, and industry. She also served as an advisor to the Clean Energy Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Jennifer Granholm began her career in public service as a judicial clerk for Michigan's 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. She became a federal prosecutor in Detroit in 1990, and in 1994, she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel.
Secretary Granholm, an immigrant from Canada, is an honors graduate of both the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She and her husband, Daniel G. Mulhern, have three children.
Brian Deese Director, National Economic Council Co-Chair, The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Brian Deese serves as Director of the National Economic Council, advising President Biden on domestic and international economic policy and coordinating the economic agenda of the Biden-Harris Administration. A former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama who was instrumental both in engineering the rescue of the U.S. auto industry and in negotiating the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, Deese is a crisis-tested advisor with broad experience in accelerating economic prosperity, empowering working Americans, and harnessing the economic opportunities that come from building a clean energy economy and combating the climate crisis.
Deese has held a variety of key roles helping national leaders navigate some of the biggest challenges of this generation. During the Obama-Biden Administration, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy after the 2008 financial crisis, as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, and as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In his role as Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock, Deese has worked to drive greater focus on climate and sustainability risk in investment portfolios and create investment strategies to help accelerate the low-carbon transition. Deese received his Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College, and his JD from Yale Law School.
Ali Zaidi Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor Co-Chair, The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Ali Zaidi is currently the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor. Zaidi is a longtime advisor to President Biden, having provided counsel and leadership on climate policy development, legislation, and executive action from day one of the Administration and on the Biden presidential transition and campaign. Zaidi served in leadership roles for climate change and energy during the Obama-Biden Administration and as New York’s Chairman of Climate Policy and Finance and Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment, where he led the state’s efforts on climate change and clean energy.
John Podesta Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation Co-Chair, The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
John Podesta serves as the Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. He is the founder and chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress. Podesta also Chairs the board of ClimateWorks Foundation and serves on the Board of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. Podesta served as counselor to President Barack Obama, where he was responsible for coordinating the administration’s climate policy and initiatives. In 2008, he served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition team. He was a member of the U.N. Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Podesta previously served as White House chief of staff to President William J. Clinton. He chaired Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president in 2016.