May 9, 2024

Chiang appointed to inaugural board of directors for U.S. DOE Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University President Mung Chiang was appointed Thursday (May 9) to the inaugural board of directors for the U.S. DOE Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (FESI) by U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. 

FESI is the U.S. Department of Energy’s first agency-related foundation, authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act signed by President Biden in 2022. FESI will support the DOE in carrying out its mission of ensuring the country’s security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions. 

A key aim of FESI is to accelerate the commercialization of new and existing energy technologies to boost U.S. competitiveness and filter private sector investments into critical partnerships between the DOE, its national labs, the philanthropic community and the private sector. FESI’s board of directors is charged with helping the foundation ensure that DOE science and innovation breakthroughs are effectively used to maintain America’s position as a trailblazer in global energy and secure an equitable clean energy economy. FESI will help accelerate the commercialization of new and existing energy technologies by raising and investing funds through engagements with the private sector and philanthropic communities.

As directed in the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, DOE identified individuals to serve on FESI’s governing board. Board members will have the opportunity to set priorities for FESI, make key hires including the executive director, and establish bylaws and governance structure, as well as actively fundraise for FESI activities and initiatives. 

Chiang, also the Roscoe H. George Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue, is the only board member appointed from a university. Other members include:

  • Vicky Bailey, founder and CEO, Anderson Stratton Enterprises LLC; chair of United States Energy Association; former assistant secretary, domestic policy and international affairs, U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Noel Bakhtian, director of tech acceleration, Bezos Earth Fund; former director of the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
  • Miranda Ballentine, founding CEO of Clean Energy Buyers Alliance; former assistant secretary, installations environment and energy, for the U.S. Air Force.
  • Rita Baranwal, senior vice president, Westinghouse Electric Co.; former assistant secretary of energy for nuclear energy within the National Nuclear Security Administration.
  • Mike Boots, executive vice president, Breakthrough Energy; former environmental advisor and chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
  • Noelle Laing, chief investment officer, builders initiative, Builders Vision.
  • Kathleen A. McGinty, vice president and chief sustainability and external relations officer, Johnson Controls; former environmental advisor and chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; former secretary of the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Tomeka McLeod, vice president, hydrogen, U.S., British Petroleum.
  • Stephen Pearse, managing director, Yucatán Rock Ventures.
  • Nancy Pfund, founder and managing partner, DBL Ventures.
  • Jason Walsh, executive director, BlueGreen Alliance; former director of the Office of Strategic Programs in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; former senior policy advisor in the White House Domestic Policy Council.
  • Rudolph Wynter, president, National Grid NY.

In addition to the appointed individuals, the authorizing statute language names four ex officio nonvoting board members from designated DOE leadership positions: 

  • Jennifer Granholm, U.S. secretary of energy. 
  • Geri Richmond, under secretary for science and innovation, U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Jill Hruby, under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration. 
  • Vanessa Chan, chief commercialization officer and director of the Office of Technology Transitions.  

Chiang and other inaugural board members were officially appointed in a ceremony Thursday hosted by the DOE in Washington, D.C., where they met with DOE leadership and discussed responsibilities and next steps.

About Purdue University

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Media contact: Tim Doty,

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