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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced additional Biden-Harris administration appointees joining the DOE team to deliver on President Biden’s climate priorities and create a clean energy future for the American people.
“We are thrilled to welcome this diverse group of professionals to a department that is already hard at work to advance President Biden’s bold climate agenda,” said Tarak Shah, chief of staff. “These passionate public servants will bring their energy and talent to deliver an equitable clean energy economy that will create millions of good-paying jobs and benefit workers and communities in all parts of America.”
The newest additions join a growing team that reflects diversity. To date, the DOE’s political appointees include more than 60% who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), 60% as women, and 20% LGBTQ+.
New appointees and their roles are listed below.
Jeremiah Baumann, deputy chief of staff
Jeremiah Baumann was most recently director of federal policy at Energy Innovation, where he worked to build an equitable and just clean energy economy. He previously led efforts focused on state clean energy policies at Bloomberg Philanthropies and served as legislative director for Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), where he supported the senator on the creation of the Rural Energy Savings Program and worked with Oregon and California tribes, farmers, and ranchers on water and energy management in the Klamath River Basin. Originally from Montana and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Baumann holds a BA from Yale University.
Luke Branscum, special assistant, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
Luke Branscum was most recently the Northwest deputy regional finance director for the Biden-Harris campaign, and previously worked on political campaigns at the municipal, congressional, and presidential levels. He earned his BA in business economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is from the Bay Area in California.
Emily Doran, special assistant, Office of Fossil Energy
Emily Doran was most recently the digital organizing director for Joe Biden and the 2020 Virginia Democratic Coordinated Campaign. Previously, she worked on campaigns in Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and Georgia and worked as a field organizer for the 2016 Pennsylvania Democratic Coordinated Campaign. A native of Virginia, she graduated from Miami University of Ohio and moved to Washington D.C. where she served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA.
Lavianna Felder, special assistant, Office of Energy Jobs
Lavianna Felder was most recently the organizing director for the 2020 Georgia Senate runoff elections. She previously worked as the Pennsylvania GOTV director for the 2020 Democratic Coordinated Campaign, as well as the California organizing director for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. A native of Philadelphia, Felder got her start in campaigns working on the field teams in the greater Philadelphia area for politicians such as Senator Bob Casey, Governor Tom Wolf, gubernatorial candidate Jim Johnson, and Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Miles Fernandez, director, Office of the Executive Secretariat
Miles Fernandez most recently served as the director of the Office of the Secretary at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and was the youngest member of the party’s leadership team. He previously served as the DNC’s Youth & Seniors deputy engagement director. Fernandez started his career at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. A first generation Filipino-American, Fernandez was the first in his family to graduate from college when he earned a BA from the University of Washington.
Julius Goldberg-Lewis, deputy White House liaison
Julius Goldberg-Lewis most recently served as the outreach manager for the NYC Public Engagement Unit’s Tenant Support Unit, working to connect New Yorkers to vital programs and their government. He also worked as the Expansion States organizing director for the Biden-Harris campaign. Before his time working for the City of New York, Goldberg-Lewis worked in Virginia and Iowa for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and in Iowa for President Obama’s reelection campaign. He received a BA from the University of Michigan.
Robert Golden, special advisor to the chief of staff
Robert Golden most recently served on the policy team for the Biden-Harris transition team, focusing on the climate and energy portfolio. He was previously the deputy chief of staff for Ørsted’s Offshore Wind Division in North America, where he started as a manager for strategy and business development. Prior to joining Ørsted, Golden worked at McKinsey in Sustainability Practice and in the Obama Administration White House Office of Energy and Climate Change. He is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vanessa Grisko, special assistant to the chief of staff
Vanessa Grisko most recently was the deputy distributed director for the 2020 Florida Democratic Coordinated Campaign, as well as the National Spanish Text team organizer for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Prior to campaigns, she worked as a sustainability consultant in Chicago, helping hundreds of buildings become more sustainable. Grisko is the daughter of an immigrant mother and earned a BS in environmental science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is from Marco Island, Florida.
Christiana Ho, special assistant to the secretary of energy
Christiana Ho most recently served on the Biden-Harris transition as part of the Federal Communications Commission Agency Review Team. Previously, she was the program director for the Biden-Harris campaign in Florida. She has spent most of her career in electoral organizing and has managed state and national programs across the country, including serving as Nevada organizing director for Vice President Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign. She holds a BA from Scripps College.
Cate Hurley, press assistant, Office of Public Affairs
Cate Hurley was most recently deputy press secretary for the Biden-Harris campaign in Arizona. Previously, she served on the communications teams for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in political science and narrative studies, and is from Pasadena, California.
Kevin Liao, press secretary, Office of Public Affairs
Kevin Liao was most recently the Nevada communications director for the Biden-Harris campaign. Before that, he was the Iowa press secretary and California communications director for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, and press secretary for California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. He holds a BA from the University of California, San Diego, and is a proud native of San Jose, California.
Anthony Martinez, digital director, Office of Public Affairs
Anthony Martinez most recently served as digital organizing email director at the Biden-Harris campaign, where he worked to bolster voter education and volunteer recruitment efforts. Previously, Martinez served as associate director of communications at the National Immigration Law Center, and digital director for the House Democratic Caucus and at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The son of an immigrant mother and Navy veteran father, Martinez was the first in his family to go to college. He holds a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AA in photography from Mt. San Jacinto Community College. Martinez is a proud military spouse.
Sandie Raines, special assistant to the deputy secretary
Sandie Raines was most recently the deputy digital organizing director for the Michigan Democratic Party during the 2020 general election, as well as a field organizer in Iowa for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. Raines is a former professional runner and has represented Team USA in international competition. She holds a BA in psychology and All-American athletic honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
Juliana Rodriguez, special assistant for advance
Juliana Rodriguez most recently worked for the Presidential Inauguration Committee and as the deputy director of trips and surrogates for the Biden-Harris campaign in Nevada. Previously, she worked on Senator John Hickenlooper’s senate race and served as the national advance coordinator for Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. She holds a BA with honors from Harvard University in social studies.
Hannah Schanzer, special assistant, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Hannah Schanzer most recently worked as a staff services analyst at the California Energy Commission (CEC) in the energy research and development division, which she initially joined as an Americorps Civic Spark Fellow. Schanzer graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in environmental policy and concentrations in environmental justice and urban sustainability.
Kristin Slevin, director of scheduling
Kristin Slevin joined the DOE from the Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren. Previously, she served as the senator’s deputy director of national scheduling during her presidential campaign. Slevin started her career in politics as an organizer for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and deputy field director and then director of operations for Senator Warren’s re-election campaign in 2018. A native of Indiana, Slevin earned an MS in management and leadership from WGU Indiana and a BS in public relations from Ball State University.
Jacob Smith, special assistant, Office of the Under Secretary for Science and Energy
Jacob Smith most recently worked for the Biden-Harris campaign in Arizona as a deputy state director. Previously, he worked on Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential campaigns as well as President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. He graduated with a BA from the University of Florida.
Suzanna Steele, special assistant to the White House liaison
Suzanna Steele most recently served as a deputy GOTV director for the Georgia Senate runoff elections. She previously was a regional organizing director in Georgia for the 2020 general election, and worked on President Biden’s presidential campaign in Iowa. Prior to joining the campaign, she was a civil servant in the Natural Resources Section and Consumer Protection Branch at the U.S. Department of Justice. Steele holds an MPA and a BA in legal studies and economics with honors from American University. A proud Coloradoan, she is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Frances Swanson, special assistant, Office of International Affairs
Frances Swanson was most recently the director of rapid response at the Florida Democratic Party. Prior to that, she worked as Beto O’Rourke’s Iowa press secretary during his presidential campaign and NextGen America’s Iowa media manager. Swanson was previously a solar justice research fellow at MPower Oregon, where she focused on identifying hurdles and solutions to adopting more solar installations on affordable housing buildings. A graduate of Lewis & Clark College, she majored in environmental studies with a concentration on the politics of greenhouse gas emission reduction among G20 nations.
Natalie Tham, special assistant, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy
Natalie Tham most recently led the Data & Analytics team in Florida for the Biden-Harris campaign. Prior to that, she led data and analytics teams for statewide political campaigns in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Before entering politics, Tham worked as an engineer for a commercial drone startup, where she provided technical and program support for inspections of wind turbines, solar panel fields, and power plants. Tham earned a BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.
For a full list of Biden-Harris administration appointees who have joined the department, visit here.
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