DOE appoints board of directors for new energy research foundation

By Jack Quinn | 05/10/2024 06:32 AM EDT

Former White House officials, investors and advocates will steer the new nonprofit created by Congress to accelerate energy technology.

Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Department of Energy headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Department of Energy appointed 13 board members Thursday to a new foundation that will raise funds to support the agency’s mission.

The Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (FESI), which was created in the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, will raise private donations “to help accelerate the commercialization of new and existing energy technologies,” DOE said in a press release Thursday. The agency called on a wide range of actors in the energy sector to fill the nonprofit’s inaugural board, including several former DOE and White House officials.

Among them are Noël Bakhtian, director of tech acceleration at the Bezos Earth Fund, who served as a senior adviser at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Obama administration. The new board also includes Mike Boots, the former acting chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality who is executive vice president at Breakthrough Energy, the climate venture fund founded by Bill Gates.


Kathleen McGinty — another former CEQ chair who is now chief of sustainability at HVAC manufacturer Johnson Controls — will also serve on the board, along with Tomeka McLeod, oil major BP’s vice president of U.S. hydrogen.