December 1, 2020

Britta von Oesen Wins 2020 DOE U.S. Clean Energy Award

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognizes nine accomplished women for their achievements and leadership in clean energy as part of the U.S Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Initiative.

The winners of the 2020 U.S. C3E Awards, who will be honored at the Ninth Annual U.S. C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium, represent a diverse range of women leading in clean energy. The U.S. C3E Initiative is led by DOE in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative, Stanford Energy, and the Texas A&M Energy Institute. DOE has led this initiative since 2012 with the goal of closing the gender gap and increasing the participation, leadership, and success of women in clean energy fields.

“Women are critical to the advancement of clean energy science and technologies for a prosperous energy future,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “It is my honor to recognize and congratulate the winners of the 2020 U.S. C3E Awards for their dedication and leadership. May your work and achievements inspire more women to join the clean energy industry.”
The 2020 award winners are:

Lifetime Achievement – Bobi Garrett served as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Deputy Laboratory Director and Chief Operating Officer, prior to her recent retirement. During her tenure at NREL, she integrated and implemented the Lab’s strategy across research and operations and ensured business and operating systems enabled high-quality, impactful research. Leading by example, she managed NREL’s growth and evolution and was instrumental in bringing the lab to the global and national conversation about a clean energy future.

Advocacy – Cristina Garcia is Assistant Director at the Building Electrification Initiative, where she focuses on inclusive labor and workforce policies. Her efforts to abolish bias and foster inclusion in the workforce place her at the intersection of clean energy and diversity.

Business – Elizabeth Kaiga is Key Account Director for Renewable Energy at DNV GL, where her work focuses on providing strategies and solutions to support the global transition to sustainable energy that is safer, cleaner, and more reliable. She is an energy industry business leader who has developed and implemented innovative growth and client development strategies for national and global professional service firms.

Education – Lindsay Dubbs is the Associate Director of the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program(NCROEP) at the Coastal Studies Institute, where she leads environmental assessment and permitting and conducts research associated with marine hydrokinetic energy. She is on the front lines of education in a field that is critical to the energy transition.

Entrepreneurship – Kathy Hannun is the Co-Founder and President of Dandelion Energy, the largest homegeothermal company in the United States. Under her leadership, Dandelion Energy has become the nation’s largest residential heat pump installer in less than two years.

Government – Natalie Meyer leads climate and sustainability initiatives for the City of Bozeman, Montana. Under her leadership, the City of Bozeman has experienced staggering 37% growth, but per capita emissions have decreased by 15%.

International – María Hilda Rivera is an Energy Advisor with Power Africa, where she works to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa. She grew up in Puerto Rico, where her family—including the family farm—had to deal with the challenges of unreliable electricity service and this experience helped form her career trajectory.

Law and Finance – Britta von Oesen is a Managing Director with CohnReznick Capital and leads the San Francisco office. She has made a considerable impact in, and dedicated her career to, improving the environment through investment banking.

Research – Simona Onori is an Assistant Professor in Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University, where she directs the Stanford Energy Control laboratory, and an adjunct professor at the International Center for Automotive Research at Clemson University. She has co-authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and has experience in international collaborations.