New DOE and EPA appointees under Biden-Harris Administration

January 25, 2021 |

In Washington, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy announced key members of the agencies’ incoming leadership team who will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda to tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and create clean energy jobs.

Members of the incoming EPA and DOE leadership team are listed here along with their intended new role and brief biographies: 

Radha Adhar, Deputy Associate Administrator for Congressional Affairs

Radha Adhar joins EPA from the Office of Senator Tammy Duckworth where she served as Senior Policy Advisor for Energy, Environment and Science.  In 2016 and 2017, Radha was an Advisor to the Jobs Strategy Council in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy.  She has also worked at the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, focusing on the Beyond Coal Campaign and the 2012 Earth Summit.  Radha holds a Energy Policy and Climate Change Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Victoria Arroyo, Associate Administrator for Policy 

Vicki Arroyo returns to EPA after having served as Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center for 12 years, leading work on climate law and policy and supporting leading states and cities in their efforts to address and prepare for climate change.  Previously she served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change as Vice President for Policy Analysis and General Counsel where she directed Pew’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and U.S. policy programs for a decade and was Managing Editor of the Center’s book, Climate Change: Science, Strategies and Solutions.  She was recently Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and has served on numerous other boards and committees advising the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the California Air Resources Board. Vicki previously served in two offices at EPA, the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development, where she reviewed development of standards under the Clean Air Act.  Vicki also served as Policy Director for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, drafting legislation that reduced toxic air pollution by 50% and linking tax breaks to firms’ environmental records. She was elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers in 2018 and holds a B.S. in biology from Emory and a M.P.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from Georgetown.

Tomás Elias Carbonell, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Stationary Sources, Office of Air and Radiation 

Since 2012, Tomás Carbonell has held a number of positions at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), most recently as Senior Counsel and Director of Regulatory Policy for EDF’s U.S. Clean Air program.  His work included leading EDF’s litigation and regulatory advocacy in defense of the Clean Power Plan and carbon pollution standards for new, modified and reconstructed power plants; defending Clean Air Act protections for hazardous air pollution from power plants and industrial sources; and advocacy in defense of EPA’s use of rigorous health science and economic analysis.  From 2008 until 2012, Tomás was an Associate at Van Ness Feldman, LLP, where he counseled diverse clients on federal legal and regulatory matters related to climate change, clean energy, and environmental and electricity regulation.  He has a J.D. from Yale University, degrees in Environmental Change and Management and Development Economics from the University of Oxford, and bachelors’ degrees in Chemical Engineering, Economics, and Multidisciplinary Studies from North Carolina State University.

Alison Cassady, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy 

Alison Cassady most recently served as the Deputy Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, where she managed a team of lawyers and scientists to conceptualize, draft and deliver a congressional policy roadmap for achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and building a clean energy economy that values workers and advances environmental justice.  From 2017 – 2019 she was the Managing Director of the Energy and Environment Team at the Center for American Progress, providing strategic planning and managerial support to a team working on climate change policy, public lands conservation, and ocean protection.  Alison also served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  She holds a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Dimple Chaudhary, Deputy General Counsel for Nationwide Resource Protection Programs 

Dimple Chaudhary joins EPA after serving as Deputy Litigation Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Her work included litigation and advocacy to protect communities from drinking water contamination and exposure to toxics.  Dimple was lead counsel for community groups in Flint, Michigan, in a case brought to address lead contamination in the city’s drinking water, which led to a settlement requiring the replacement of all Flint’s lead service lines within three years.  Prior to joining NRDC, she was an associate at WilmerHale and a law clerk for the Honorable Carol Bagley Amon of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree in urban planning from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Rosemary Enobakhare, Associate Administrator for Public Engagement and Environmental Education 

Rosemary Enobakhare returns to EPA where she served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Public Engagement and Environmental Education, leading the agency’s community outreach and strategic engagement plans. Since then, she has been the Director of Campaigns at The Hub Project, developing and managing large-scale advocacy campaigns that shift the conversation around top progressive policies.  She also worked for two years as the Campaign Director at the Clean Water for All Campaign, serving as the principal point of contact for stakeholders and overseeing all aspects of the campaign’s daily operations. Rosemary is a graduate of Spelman College with a degree in Economics.

Philip Fine, Principal Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy 

Dr. Fine joins EPA after a 15 year career at the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Southern California. He most recently served as the Deputy Executive Officer for the Planning, Rule Development & Area Sources Division, where he oversaw all activities of the Division, including development of State Implementation Plans and Air Quality Management Plans, strategies and regulations for air pollution control, meteorology and forecasting, air quality evaluation, air toxics risk assessment, emissions inventories, socioeconomic analyses, transportation programs, and enforcement for area sources.  Prior to this role, Dr. Fine’s previous responsibilities at South Coast AQMD included oversight of ambient air monitoring, laboratory services, quality assurance, and source testing.  Dr. Fine served on the California Air Resources Board’s legislatively-mandated Research Screening Committee, and has also served on several EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee expert panels.  Before joining the South Coast AQMD, Dr. Fine was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles where he taught courses and conducted extensive research on particulate pollution, air monitoring technologies, and exposure assessment.  He has over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications to date.  He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in Environmental Science & Engineering, and his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Radhika Fox, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water 

Prior to her appointment at EPA, Radhika Fox was the Chief Executive Officer of the US Water Alliance, a national nonprofit organization advancing policies and programs that build a sustainable water future for all.  She has more than 20 years of experience in developing, policies, programs and issue-based advocacy campaigns on the most salient water issues facing the nation including climate change, affordability and innovative finance, water infrastructure investment, equity, and the evolution of the One Water movement. Previously, Radhika directed policy and government affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is responsible for providing 24/7 water, wastewater, and municipal power services to millions of Bay Area residents.  She also served as the Federal Policy Director at PolicyLink, where she coordinated the organization’s policy agenda on a wide range of issues, including infrastructure investment, transportation, sustainable communities, economic inclusion, and workforce development.  Radhika has a M.A. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Columbia University.

Michal Ilana Freedhoff, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (starting 1/25)

Michal Ilana Freedhoff joined the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as its Minority Director of Oversight in February 2017. She has more than twenty years of government experience, beginning in 1996 in then-Congressman Ed Markey’s office as a Congressional Science and Engineering fellow after receiving a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Rochester.  She has also served on the staffs of the House Science Committee, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee.  Her legislative work includes the fuel economy provisions in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, a law requiring the creation of an online database of dangerous consumer product safety defects, the 2016 re-authorization of the Toxic Substances Control Act, and 2019 legislation to address PFAS contamination. She lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and four children.

Joseph Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation 

Joe Goffman returns to EPA after serving from 2009 – 2017 as the Associate Assistant Administrator for Climate and Senior Counsel in the Office of Air and Radiation, where he provided policy and legal counsel on a wide range of climate policy and Clean Air Act regulatory and implementation issues and rulemakings. Since 2017 he has served as the Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Law Program at Harvard Law School where he led a team of attorneys and communications specialists providing information and analysis to stakeholders, government decision makers and the media, and offering innovative responses on emerging issues in the areas of federal, state and municipal energy and electricity law and environmental and administrative law as well as in selected areas of corporate law.  Joe also worked on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works as the Democratic Chief Counsel and Majority Senior Counsel.  He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Yale University.

Lindsay Hamilton, Associate Administrator for Public Affairs 

Lindsay Hamilton comes to EPA from Climate Nexus, a communications non-profit, where she was senior director of national media strategy.  She also spent time as the chief spokesperson for The George Washington University, the chief of staff and a vice president with the Center for American Progress, and she served in roles in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the and the U.S. Senate.  Early on in her career, she worked for ABC News. Lindsay earned a B.A. in international affairs and political science from The George Washington University.  She earned her master’s degree from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. She is originally from Omaha, Nebraska.

Sinceré Harris, White House Liaison 

Sinceré Harris joins EPA with years of senior-level experience in developing strategies to define, communicate and achieve political goals.  Since 2015 she has served as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, where she was at the forefront of successful statewide coordinated campaigns, approving and managing multi-million dollar coordinated budgets, and led the formation of the 2020 organizing team.  In 2020, Sinceré was named the Pennsylvania Senior Advisor for Joe Biden for President, including advising a team of over 200 on digital organizing, voter protection, political and coalition building, and communications.  She previously worked as the Assistant Deputy for Legislative Affairs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Sinceré has a degree in Psychology from Temple University.

Melissa Hoffer, Principal Deputy General Counsel

Prior to joining EPA, Melissa Hoffer was with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where she served as the Chief of the Energy and Environment Bureau and oversaw the work of the Bureau’s attorneys on matters including prosecuting civil and criminal enforcement of environmental laws, energy policy, ratepayer advocacy, defensive cases, and affirmative advocacy, including litigation in support of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.  In 2020, Melissa was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Environmental Lawyers; she has received a 2020 Meritorious Service Award from the National Association of Attorneys General, a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Top Women of Law award in 2013, and a Boston Bar Association President’s award in 2007.  Melissa served for over five years as a vice president of Conservation Law Foundation and director of its Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice Program, and director of its New Hampshire Advocacy Center.  Melissa practiced at WilmerHale for many years where her focus was environmental law and litigation.  She holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, and a B.A. from Hampshire College with a focus on education.

Casey Katims, Deputy Associate Administrator for Intergovernmental Affairs 

Casey Katims most recently served as Director of Federal and Inter-State Affairs for Washington Governor Jay Inslee, working as his primary advisor on federal policy issues and directing the state of Washington’s engagement with Congress, the White House, federal agencies, fellow governors’ offices and various other stakeholders in D.C.  Prior to this role, he spent five years as a policy advisor in the U.S. House of Representatives for Rep. Suzan DelBene, developing bills and amendments on a range of issues and helping manage her responsibilities on the House Ways and Means Committee.  Casey has a degree in Political Science from Vassar College and grew up in Edmonds, Washington.

John Lucey, Special Assistant to the Administrator

John Lucey joins EPA from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), starting as a Legislative Analyst in 2015.  He has served since 2019 as the Chief Strategy Officer, helping create and manage the strategic implementation of both North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan and Risk and Resiliency Plan.  He also provided guidance to the Department on significant State initiatives including the Duke Energy Coal Ash Settlement, the North Carolina Environmental Justice and Equity Board and the Chemours Consent Order. John holds a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University and an Associate of Arts degree from Central Piedmont Community College.

Dan Utech, Chief of Staff 

Dan Utech has over 20 years of experience in the federal environmental and energy sectors., including as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1997/1998 with assignments at EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service.  From 2014 – 2017 he served at the White House Domestic Policy Council, including as Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, where he led the White House and cross-governmental teams to implement and coordinate communications for President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, oversaw the Administration’s energy and climate change strategy, and promoted the President’s agenda in Congress.  Dan also served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, where his responsibilities included budget development and management of key initiatives such as nuclear waste.  Prior to his federal agency experience, Dan was Senior Advisor to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, advising the Senator on all energy and environmental issues, including climate change, clean diesel, and energy efficiency, as well as air and water quality, toxic substances and endangered species.  He has been a lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, from which he received an M.E.S. degree. He also holds degrees from the Yale School of Management and Amherst College.

Shalanda H. Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice

Shalanda H. Baker was mostly recently a professor of law, public policy, and urban affairs at Northeastern University. She was the co-founder and co-director of the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change. Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge pursuant to the then existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. She earned a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin.

Vanessa Z. Chan, Director, Office of Technology Transitions (Chief Commercialization Officer)

Vanessa Z. Chan comes to the Biden-Harris Administration from the University of Pennsylvania where she was the Brassington Professor of Practice and the Undergraduate Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department. She has spent the past 20 years helping large companies commercialize their technologies and revamping the academic curriculum of engineering students to make a greater social impact. Chan earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert Cowin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement

Robert Cowin was most recently director of government affairs for the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Prior to that, Cowin worked for the National Environmental Trust, where he helped organize national campaigns focused on climate change, clean energy, and clean air. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a B.A. from Boston College.

Tanya Das, Chief of Staff, Office of Science

Tanya Das was most recently a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where she worked on legislation on a range of issues in clean energy and manufacturing policy. She earned her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Christopher Davis, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy

Christopher Davis served all eight years of the Obama Administration — first in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs and then in several senior roles at the Department of Energy. Prior to that, he worked for the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. More recently, Davis worked with Co-Equal, a non-profit organization providing expertise and knowledge to Congress on oversight and legislation.

Ali Douraghy, Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary for Science & Energy

Ali Douraghy was most recently Chief Strategy Officer for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area. He led the New Voices program at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which brings diverse leader perspectives into science policy. He received his Ph.D. in biomedical physics from the UCLA School of Medicine.

Caroline Grey, White House Liaison

Caroline Grey worked for Biden for President as Expansion States Director, managing distributed engagement in 33 states. Previously, she worked on the presidential campaign of Senator Elizabeth Warren. Grey started her career as an organizer for then-Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and worked on the 2012 Obama re-election campaign. She co-founded Civis Analytics, a data science firm.

Todd Kim, Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Enforcement

Todd Kim most recently was a partner at Reed Smith LLP, and before that was the first Solicitor General for the District of Columbia, serving in that capacity more than 11 years. Kim graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an executive editor of the Harvard Law Review, and received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude in biology from Harvard College.

Jennifer Jean Kropke, Director of Energy Jobs

Jennifer Jean Kropke served as the first Director of Workforce and Environmental Engagement for IBEW Local Union 11 and the National Electrical Contractors’ Association-Los Angeles’ Labor Management Cooperation Committee. She focused on creating clean energy, port electrification, and zero emission transportation opportunities for union members. She is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law.

Andrew Light, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs

Andrew Light has worked on international climate and energy policy in and outside of government for the last 15 years. From 2013 to 2016, he served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, as well as a climate adviser in the Secretary of State’s Office of Policy Planning. Light was an international climate and energy policy volunteer for the Biden campaign and was one of the chief architects of Governor Jay Inslee’s plan for global climate mobilization. He completed his undergraduate work at Mercer University and doctoral work at the University of California, Riverside with a three-year post-doctoral fellowship in environmental risk assessment at the University of Alberta.

David A. Mayorga, Director of Public Affairs

David A. Mayorga most recently served as Director of Communications for the Attorney General for the District of Columbia Karl A. Racine. Previously he was Senior Spokesperson for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and led communications for DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. Mayorga, an immigrant and openly LGBTQ person, was the first in his immediate family to attend a four-year college. He earned a B.A. from the University of Florida and began his professional career at the U.S. House Committee on Science.

Shara Mohtadi, Chief of Staff, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Shara Mohtadi has focused her career advising policymakers and international organizations on mitigating climate change and advancing clean energy policies. She most recently led the America’s Pledge initiative and managed grants focused on the coal to clean energy transition in Asia and Australia at Bloomberg Philanthropies. During the Obama Administration, Mohtadi served as an advisor for the energy and environment portfolio at the White House, in the Office of Management and Budget. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University.

Ali Nouri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs

Ali Nouri is a molecular biologist and most recently was the President of the Federation of American Scientists, which addresses global health and security risks. Prior to that, he served as a U.S. Senate staffer for a decade and served as an advisor in the office of then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Nouri obtained a B.A. in biology from Reed College and received his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Tarak Shah, Chief of Staff

Tarak Shah is an energy policy expert who has spent the last decade working on combating climate change. At the Biden-Harris Transition, Shah was the Personnel lead for the Climate and Science team. From 2014-2017, he served as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Science and Energy at DOE. Shah has also worked on political campaigns, including President Obama’s Senate and presidential campaigns. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his M.B.A from Cornell University.

Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Kelly Speakes-Backman most recently served as the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association, the national trade organization for the energy storage industry. Speakes-Backman has spent more than 20 years working in energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors. In 2019, she was honored by The Cleanie Awards as Woman of the Year.

Narayan Subramanian, Legal Advisor, Office of General Counsel

Narayan Subramanian was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment at Berkeley Law leading a project tracking regulatory rollbacks, and served as a Fellow at the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Data for Progress. Subramanian holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, an M.P.A. from the School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University, and a B.S. in Earth & Environmental Engineering from Columbia University.

Shuchi Talati, Chief of Staff, Office of Fossil Energy

Shuchi Talati was most recently a Senior Policy Advisor at Carbon180 where she focused on policies to build sustainable and equitable technological carbon removal at scale. She also served as a policy volunteer on the Biden-Harris campaign. Dr. Talati earned a B.S. from Northwestern University, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Jennifer Wilcox, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy

Jennifer Wilcox was most recently the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute. Wilcox’s work examines the nexus of energy and the environment, developing strategies to minimize negative climate impacts associated with society’s dependence on fossil fuels. Wilcox holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and M.A. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona and B.A. in Mathematics from Wellesley College.

Avi Zevin, Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy

Avi Zevin is an attorney with experience advancing policies that enable the provision of carbon-free, reliable, and cost-effective electricity. He was a senior attorney and Affiliated Scholar at the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law and an attorney at Van Ness Feldman LLP. Zevin holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law, an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A., with high honors, from the University of California, Berkeley.

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