WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced seven new Biden-Harris Administration appointees joining the DOE team to help combat climate change and implement President Biden’s historic climate and energy agenda alongside U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. DOE also announced that five current appointees are taking on new roles in the Department. With these new hires and recent promotions, DOE appointees continue to make up an historically diverse team with 56% women, 57% people of color, and 21% of staff identifying as LGBTQ+.
“Under the leadership of President Biden and Secretary Granholm, the Department of Energy is working across the country to unleash the incredible potential of clean energy in America and ensure our economic and national security,” said DOE Chief of Staff Christopher Davis. “This new cohort further optimizes stellar team of appointees and career staff at the Department to deliver on behalf of the country.”
New appointees are listed below:
Alexa R. Bishopric, Special Assistant, Office of Electricity
Bishopric was most recently the legislative assistant on the Subcommittee on Energy of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology under then-Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. In her two and a half years with the Committee, Bishopric covered a wide array of the Subcommittee’s research, development, and demonstration jurisdiction, including assisting with the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act. She previously held policy positions at the state and local levels. Bishopric is originally from Miami, Florida, and graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in political science and environmental studies.
Kerri Ebanks, Digital Content Manager, Office of Public Affairs
Ebanks was most recently the digital director for U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). Before joining Representative Maloney’s office, she led digital for the Washington State Democratic Party. A native of New Orleans, Banks began her public service journey in the city and leading digital strategy for the City of Mobile, Alabama. She graduated from Spring Hill College with a B.A. in journalism.
Claire Gibbs, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary
Gibbs was most recently Deputy National Finance Director for U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan’s successful reelection campaign in New Hampshire. Prior to that, she served as the finance assistant on Jackie Gordon’s race in New York’s Second Congressional District. Gibbs is a graduate of Duke University, where she double majored in public policy and international comparative studies. Originally from Kansas, Gibbs now lives in Washington, D.C.
Paige Nygaard, Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Nygaard was most recently Senior Associate Director for Climate and Science Agency Personnel at the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Prior to joining the Administration, Nygaard served as the Maine Coalitions Director for the Biden-Harris campaign. Nygaard has served in variety of environmental and economic non-profit roles including as the Community Organizing and Outreach Director for 16 Counties Coalition and the Program Manager of Maine Environmental Education Association. She graduated from the College of the Atlantic. Originally from the coast of Maine, Nygaard now lives in Washington, D.C.
Lino Peña-Martinez, Special Assistant, Office of Energy Jobs
Peña-Martinez was most recently a policy analyst for the Subcommittee on Energy of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce during the passage of landmark legislation to transition the nation to a clean energy economy. Peña-Martinez began his Federal energy advocacy career with the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce during the 116th Congress and previously advocated on foster care, juvenile justice, and family-based issues with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Growing up in foster care from the age of 5 to 18, Peña-Martinez later served as a caseworker in a residential group home, doing community outreach and delivering social services. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a B.A. in environmental studies and the history of art and architecture.
Juaquín Robles, Digital Content Manager, Office of Public Affairs
Robles was most recently digital director for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. Previously, he specialized in content creation and email marketing for Immigration Equality, supported the communications needs of congressional offices, and worked with Instagram to bring the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to new audiences. Robles is the son of Mexican immigrant parents and has roots across Texas and the Midwest.
Samah N. Shaiq, Deputy Press Secretary, Office of Public Affairs
Shaiq was most recently deputy press secretary for U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Prior to that, she worked at American Bridge 21st Century. Shaiq started her career working on several local and statewide campaigns in her home state of California. She is a proud Muslim-American and the daughter of Pakistani immigrants. Shaiq graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a B.A. in political science.
Appointees taking on new roles are listed below:
Matthew Baca, Chief of Staff, Office of International Affairs
Baca was most recently the Secretary’s Director of Scheduling and Advance. He is a project manager and event producer with nearly a decade of experience in advocacy and political campaigns. He previously worked as director of advance for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential primary campaign and before that was a press advance lead in the White House during the Obama-Biden Administration. Baca has a B.A. with honors from DePaul University.
Cassidy Ballard, Deputy Director of Scheduling and Advance
Ballard was most recently Scheduler to the Secretary. Ballard previously served as regional organizing director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party during the 2020 general election. She previously worked for U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren as an organizer on the Senator’s 2018 reelection campaign in Massachusetts and subsequently on her presidential primary campaign in New Hampshire and Maine. A native of Massachusetts, Ballard attended Stonehill College where she studied political science and international studies.
Arpita Bhattacharyya, Senior Advisor and Chief Climate Officer, Loan Programs Office
Bhattacharyya was most recently Chief of Staff in the Office of the Deputy Secretary. In addition to managing the Deputy Secretary’s office and advising the budget, she was the lead for the Office of Science, ARPA-E, Sustainability, and the National Labs in the Secretary’s office. She previously led strategic projects at Impossible Foods, working to bring low-emission food technology to market. She previously worked at SunPower, developing commercial solar projects for Fortune 500 companies, and later leading the Channel Project Development and Finance team. Bhattacharyya has also worked closely with the U.S. and international governments on collaborative climate partnerships at the Center for American Progress. Bhattacharyya holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a B.A. from Carleton College.
Greg Degen, Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Secretary
Degen was most recently Chief of Staff in the Office of International Affairs. Previously he worked on global partnerships at the international affairs and strategy office of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Degen served in a variety of roles in the Obama-Biden Administration, including as Chief of Staff of the White House Office of the Staff Secretary. He worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development, both in the Global Climate Change Office and as an assistant to the Administrator, and previously served in the legislative affairs office at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Originally from Buffalo, New York, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Degen holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from the Ohio State University.
Cambria Hayashino, Director of Scheduling and Advance
Hayashino was previously Deputy Director of Scheduling for Advance. Hayashino previously served as the Deputy Director of Scheduling for the Vice President. She held various roles during the 2020 election cycle, including on the Democratic National Convention team and as an advance lead for Pete Buttigieg’s primary 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.
Click here for the full list of Biden-Harris Administration appointees at DOE.