It is a pleasure to join the Administration as the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity here at the Department of Energy. When President Obama nominated me for this position, I immediately recognized the vital importance of the work that this office does. From assisting small businesses to supporting minority serving institutions to enhancing the diversity and inclusion at the Department, this office has a mission-critical role for our clean energy future.
I care deeply about my responsibilities in this position. As the Director at the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, I’ll be leading the Department of Energy’s efforts to ensure that women, minorities and historically underrepresented communities – such as disabled individuals and veterans – are afforded an opportunity to participate fully in our energy programs.
One of the ways we’ll do this is through a corporate funding strategy for minority institutions, working across all the offices at the Department of Energy to strategically support Tribal Colleges and Universities, Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions.
I will also be involved with developing the current and future Departmental workforce, ensuring that we have new generations of students in science, technology, engineering, and math who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work on our all-out, all-of-the-above American energy strategy.
Of course, a big focus of this office is on our small business participation in the contracting needs of the Department. We’re the largest civilian procurement agency in the government, and our contracting dollars make a big impact in local economies, where small businesses create two out of every net new three jobs. That’s why our office serves as the advocate for small business concerns, and I’ll be meeting small business owners all over the country to listen to their needs and work closely with them.
Although I am new in the government, I am not new to the needs of small business owners or underrepresented communities. I’ve spent nearly 30 years working in management and the energy industry, having served as an executive at General Electric Company (GE), ABB Service, and Westinghouse Electric Company. When I left GE, I started my own small business, offering consulting services in energy, IT, and healthcare industries.
It’s exciting to be able to bring this experience to this Administration. The U.S. Senate confirmed me on March 29, 2012 to begin this work, and I have hit the ground running. I am looking forward to working with you to solve America’s energy challenges, reduce costs for consumers, protect our air and water, and provide energy independence for the United States.