The Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Awards recognize mid-career women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and accomplishments in clean energy. Now in its 12th year, the C3E Initiative is led by the U.S. Department of Energy, in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative, Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Texas A&M Energy Institute.
By raising the visibility of role models for women in clean energy, the C3E Initiative is helping to attract more women to the clean energy industry. The 2023 C3E Awards, honor 11 women for outstanding leadership and accomplishments in clean energy.
“DOE is proud to recognize this year’s C3E Awardees, a group of innovators and trailblazers bringing unique perspectives and game-changing ideas to the fight for an equitable clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Whether leading global research into groundbreaking new discoveries or championing environmental justice, these inspirational women are expanding our understanding of the clean energy transition and driving transformative breakthroughs across America’s economy.”
The 2023 C3E Awardees were chosen because they’re making an impact across clean energy fields. The C3E Lifetime Achievement Honoree has dedicated her career to advancing high-impact clean energy, climate mitigation, and public health policies at both the state and federal levels.
The 2023 C3E Awardees, listed by category, are:
- Advocacy — Jameka Hodnett is the chief program officer with Chisholm Legacy Project, where she works to further climate policies that are clearing a pathway for a just energy transition. As a local climate action policy fellow with Elemental Excelerator and the African American Mayors Association, Hodnett is ensuring that benefits of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and Justice40 Initiative reach communities that have been historically underinvested in.
- Business — Raisa Lee is an engineer and solar energy developer and serves as the director of project development at Clearway Energy Group, a national developer, owner and operator of renewable energy, where she leads Clearway’s solar and storage growth in the western United States.
- Education — Evangelina Galvan Shreeve is the chief diversity officer and director of STEM Education at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), developing and stewarding a dynamic portfolio of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and STEM education initiatives. She guides the development of educational programs and partnerships to create pathways for historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
- Entrepreneurship — Piper Foster Wilder is the founder and CEO of 60Hertz Energy, which offers customers a computerized maintenance management system supporting fleets of distributed energy resources from microgrids to solar to energy storage.
- Finance — Erin Davis is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Enduring Planet, a financial technology platform focused on non-dilutive, founder-friendly capital for climate entrepreneurs. In less than two years, Enduring Planet has invested in more than 25 clean energy and climate change projects across the United States.
- Government – Leuwam Tesfai serves as the deputy executive director for Energy and Climate Policy at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), managing a staff of more than 200 analysts and engineers. With over 11 years at the CPUC, she has been involved in energy procurement, transmission development, climate adaptation, reliability, energy efficiency, transportation electrification, complex energy finance and rate recovery, and distributed energy resources.
- International — Elizabeth (Lizzie) Biney-Amissah is the managing partner of TBrA X Ventures, an investment and advisory firm that is part of The Boardroom Africa (TBrA) Group. Throughout her career, Biney-Amissah has worked on both grid-scale and off-grid energy and infrastructure deals across Africa, namely a 350 MW combined cycle gas turbine in Ghana and 50 MW portfolio of metrogrids for an off-grid utility in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
- Law — Melinda Baglio is the chief investment officer and general counsel at CleanCapital, a recognized leader in clean energy investment. She oversees all aspects of CleanCapital’s legal affairs, as well as the structuring and execution of capital markets transactions for one of the leading commercial solar asset owners in the United States.
- Social, Economic, and Policy Innovation — Jacquie Ashmore is the executive vice president of engineering at New Leaf Energy, leading a 60-person engineering team developing solar, energy storage and wind projects.
- Technology Research & Innovation — Jie Xiao leads the battery materials & system group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She is a Battelle Fellow and holds a joint appointment at the University of Washington (UW) where she is a PNNL-UW distinguished faculty fellow. She serves as the Deputy Director of DOE’s Innovation Center for Battery500 Consortium and the Director of the Cathode-Electrolyte Interphase Consortium. Xiao has been leading research thrusts in both fundamental research and practical applications of energy storage materials and systems to accelerate deep decarbonization, and her protocols have changed how battery research is conducted and reported in the scientific community.
- Lifetime Achievement — Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years. She was the first White House National Climate Advisor, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and current Managing Co-Chair of America Is All In.
The winners were honored at the 12th Annual C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium and Awards on September 27 to 28, 2023.
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