DOE-MIT partnership awards women for energy leadership

Seven Clean Energy and Empowerment award winners announced today

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As part of the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) program, run by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), six mid-career women were recognized today at the annual C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium for their leadership and mentorship. Additionally, former Honeywell GM Maxine Savitz received the C3E Lifetime Achievement Award for her long history of clean energy leadership.

The Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Maxine Savitz, was nominated and chosen by distinguished energy experts who are part of the C3E Ambassadors program. Savitz recently retired as the general manager for technology partnerships at Honeywell, Inc. During her career at Honeywell, she oversaw the development and manufacturing of innovative materials for the aerospace, transportation and industrial sectors. Previously, Savitz worked at DOE and its predecessor agencies, and served as the deputy assistant secretary for conservation.

Savitz has and continues to serve on many advisory boards, including the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Federation of American Scientists. This year, she was also elected as a fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is the vice president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The six-midcareer women who received awards were selected from nationwide nominations and chosen by the C3E Ambassadors. Along with the recognition, they will receive a $10,000 cash prize from MITEI for their clean energy work. They include:

Innovation and Technology Development: Milo Werner

Werner is the manager of New Product Introductions for Tesla Motors, where she is responsible for the successful launch of all new vehicle powertrain models – a job that includes developing and executing program schedules, driving cross functional teams and managing external relationships. Werner was responsible for the successful launches of the Tesla Model S, Toyota Rav4 and Daimler Smart Car.

Entrepreneurship and Innovative Business Models: Erica Mackie

Mackie is the CEO and co-founder of GRID Alternatives, the nation's largest nonprofit solar installer. She founded the organization in 2001, while working as a professional engineer implementing large-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for the private sector. Her vision was to make the benefits of these technologies available to low-income communities that need the savings the most, but have the least access.

Corporate Implementation: Kirsten Gunderson

Gunderson is a senior manager for Walmart’s Energy Team, where she helps drive the successful deployment and management of Walmart’s onsite renewable portfolio – advancing the company’s goal to produce or procure 7 billion kWh of renewable energy globally by 2020, and its long-term goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy.  Last year, Gunderson led the installation of Walmart’s first 1 MW onsite wind turbine in Red Bluff, CA.

Policy and Advocacy: Rebecca Stanfield

Stanfield has nineteen years of experience in environmental advocacy and organizational development.  Since July 2008, Stanfield has led the Natural Resources Defense Council's Midwest clean energy advocacy in a five-state regional footprint, with a goal of transforming electric utility rate and resource acquisition policies to spur a shift from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. 

Education and Mentorship: Kristen Graf

Graf is the executive director of Women of Wind Energy (WoWE), a national nonprofit that promotes the education, professional development and advancement of women to achieve a strong diversified workforce and support a robust renewable energy economy. Before arriving at WoWE, Graf spent five years with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Boston where she worked on renewable energy policy at the state and national levels with particular focus on wind and biomass.

Advancements for the Developing World: Katherine Lucey

After a successful 20-year career on Wall Street, Lucey decided to give back. She brought her business acumen and passion for empowering women to Africa, creating a sustainable, market-based social enterprise – Solar Sister – that provides light, hope and opportunity to women and their communities. Solar Sister combines the breakthrough potential of micro-solar lighting and energy with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network.  Women become Solar Sister entrepreneurs, earning income to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and providing access to clean, affordable solar light to their communities.

Read more about this year’s, and last year’s, award winners at

The U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) program is an effort to advance the careers and leadership of professional women in the field of clean energy. The program is part of the international C3E Initiative within the 23-government Clean Energy Ministerial framework. Learn more:

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) links science, innovation and policy to transform the world's energy systems.

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