WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced 17 new Biden-Harris Administration appointees who are working alongside U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm to implement President Biden’s historic climate and energy agenda and ensure Americans have access to affordable clean energy. They join a team that is focused on implementing President Biden’s clean energy laws to reach our climate goals of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050 — critical for the environment and U.S. national and economic security. DOE appointees continue to be a historically diverse team, and with these appointments, are comprised of 53% women, 55% people of color, and 22% identifying as LGBTQ+.
“This group will help seize the incredible opportunities and tackle the enormous challenges ahead for DOE as we work to lead the global transition to clean energy,” said DOE Chief of Staff Christopher Davis. “They bring a wealth of experience in policy, law, government, and academia to the Department, and they are ready to meet this moment with Secretary Granholm on behalf of the country.”
New appointees are listed below:
Liz Berliant, Deputy White House Liaison, Office of the Secretary
Berliant previously served as the Finance Director of Operations at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Throughout her four years at the DNC, Berliant managed the finance operations team, played a leading role for the major donor experience for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and aided in running operation processes for the Biden-Harris campaign. She has held positions on a number of political campaigns from local to national. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with her B.A. in political science. Berliant and her husband, Nick, live in Washington, D.C., with their two dogs.
Adrian Culea, Advisor, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
Culea was previously Director of the White House Travel Office. Prior to Inauguration Day, Culea served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team and as the Director of Travel Operations on Biden for President. Before joining the campaign, Culea served as Field Director and Political Director for U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney and worked for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns. Originally from New York, Culea is a first-generation American, has four nephews, and is a graduate of Hofstra University.
Dr. Jasmine Dimitriou, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary
Dimitriou was previously Legislative Director in U.S. Senator Dick Durbin’s office, where she began in 2010 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science/American Chemical Society Science Policy Fellow. Dimitriou also served as Senator Durbin’s Senior Policy Advisor on energy, science, and climate issues. She earned her B.A. in chemistry and biochemistry at Washington University in St. Louis in 2005 and, in 2010 earned her Ph.D. in materials chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Tristan Douville, Special Assistant, Office of Indian Energy and Policy Programs
Douville previously worked for Tribal governments and Tribal corporations in Alaska to promote Indigenous stewardship of ancestral homelands with a passion for equitable environmental sustainability and climate justice. The majority of his work was focused on protecting the Tongass National Forest, his home. Douville is a proud member of the Indigenous 2SLGBT+ community and the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska. He is a Tlingit Alaska Native from the Shank’weidi clan in Southeast Alaska.
Jessica Harding, Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary
Harding most recently worked as an alumni engagement coordinator at the University of Delaware. Prior to that, she worked as a policy research intern at the University of Delaware Biden Institute, where she worked to increase Gen-Z voter turnout. Harding was born and raised in Central New Jersey and graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. with distinction in energy and environmental policy and an M.S. in energy and environmental policy.
Cambria Hayashino, Deputy Director of Scheduling and Advance, Office of Management
Hayashino most recently served as the Deputy Director of Scheduling for Vice President Harris. She held various roles during the 2020 election cycle, including with the Democratic National Convention and as an advance lead for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign. Prior to working in government and politics, Hayashino focused on marketing and communications with an emphasis on social impact. She earned a B.A. in English literature and history from Biola University and an M.A. in corporate communications from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.
Jessica Lauren Hernandez, Special Assistant, Office of State and Community Energy Programs
Hernandez previously worked as a digital organizer for a non-profit organization and as a field organizer for the Biden-Harris campaign in Florida. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in international relations from Florida International University. She is a first-generation immigrant originally from San José de las Lajas, Cuba.
Priyanka K. Hooghan, Chief of Staff, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management
Hooghan was most recently the Staff Director for the Environment Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology under Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Prior to joining the committee, Hooghan served as a STEM graduate fellow through the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies in the office of U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono and with her fellowship sponsor, the American Petroleum Institute. Before coming to Washington, D.C., she practiced environmental engineering in Chicago and Dallas, focusing on air quality permitting and environmental compliance. Hooghan received a B.S. in environmental engineering from Southern Methodist University and an M.S. in environmental engineering from Stanford University.
Cate Hurley, Deputy Speechwriter, Office of Public Affairs
Hurley was most recently Press Secretary for U.S. Representative Adam Schiff. Previously, she served in DOE's Office of Public Affairs as Special Assistant and on the staff of the the Biden-Harris campaign in Arizona, the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in political science and narrative studies and is from Pasadena, California.
Alexandra Klass, Deputy General Counsel for Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Demonstrations, Office of the General Counsel
Klass was previously a Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, teaching and writing in the fields of energy, environmental, and natural resources law. Klass’s scholarly work has addressed regulatory challenges to integrating more renewable energy into the nation’s electric transmission grid, siting and eminent domain issues surrounding interstate electric transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines, and applications of the public trust doctrine to modern environmental law challenges. Prior to her teaching career, Klass was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, where she specialized in environmental law and land use litigation and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Stephanie Klein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
Klein was most recently the Washington, D.C., field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force, where she advocated for policies protective of air quality and climate at the local and Federal levels. Previously, she worked as a senior client strategy and success lead for Capitol Canary (formerly Phone2Action), where she supported environmental advocacy organizations with their digital grassroots advocacy strategies and campaigns. Prior to that, Klein was a National Program Manager within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. In that role she led efforts focused on energy efficiency and market transformation through public-private partnerships, working with companies to implement and communicate energy efficiency and carbon reduction initiatives. She holds a B.S. from Michigan State University and an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Henry McKoy Jr., Director, Office of State and Community Energy Programs
McKoy previously served on the faculty at North Carolina Central University School of Business, where he led the entrepreneurship program, with additional appointments at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Harvard. He is a former banking executive, entrepreneur, and former Assistant Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. He holds a B.S. from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, an M.S. from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and a Ph.D. from UNC’s Department of City and Regional Planning.
Krystal D. Milam, Special Assistant, Office of Nuclear Energy
Milam previously served as a Senior Legislative Assistant in the office of U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, where she managed a legislative portfolio and assisted the Congressman on House Committee Appropriations Committee work. Milam also worked as a policy fellow for the House Committee on Ways and Means and as a Policy Advisor in the office of U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings. Milam was a 2018-2020 Legislative STEM Fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from John Carroll University and a Master of Legal Studies from Catholic University of America.
Jordan Morales, International Trip Lead, Office of Management
Morales most recently served as executive assistant in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Morales served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team as a member of the vetting and ethics team. Previously, she was an advance staffer during the 2020 presidential campaign cycle. Morales is an alumna of Franklin University Switzerland and was previously a professional dancer in Los Angeles.
Chloe Parrish, Special Assistant, Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains
Most recently, Parrish worked at the Climate Action Campaign, which focused on passing historical climate investments. Parrish spent most of her career in electoral and advocacy work, including the Florida Coordinated Campaign for the 2018 and 2020 election cycles. Parrish obtained her academic degrees in her native state of Florida with a B.A. in political science from the University of Florida.
Janie Thompson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for House Affairs, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
Thompson was most recently the Staff Director for the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight under Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Previously she worked as a lobbyist at Cassidy & Associates, where she advocated for clean energy and advanced technology priorities before federal policymakers. Prior to her work in the private sector, Thompson served in the Obama Administration as a Special Assistant in the DOE Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. She also served on the staff of the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment under Chairman Bart Gordon. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Thompson earned a B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South and an M.S. in engineering management and systems engineering from The George Washington University. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and three children.
Jay Vaingankar, Special Assistant, Office of Policy
Vaingankar was previously the Special Assistant to the Director of Management and Administration at the White House, where he helped set up technology, operations, and personnel for the Biden-Harris White House and helped run COVID-19 operations to keep staff, the President, the Vice President, and their spouses safe. Before the Administration, he worked on the Biden-Harris campaign as a field organizer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. A proud son of South Asian immigrants, Vaingankar grew up in Central New Jersey and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics and public policy from the Wharton School and a B.A. in international studies from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Click here for the full list of Biden-Harris Administration appointees at DOE.