The External Relations Team provides strategic advice to EERE’s leadership team and program offices on interactions with key external stakeholders that involve relevant policy and opportunities to advance the office’s mission. The team helps lead interactions with stakeholders to leverage relationships and educate audiences about the impact of EERE’s activities.
The work of the External Relations Team spans two focus areas:
The External Relations Team promotes EERE's programs and initiatives through coordination and interaction with key external stakeholders, which include leadership regulators and governments, industry, think tanks, universities, foundations, and other institutions. The team uses direct dialogue among EERE and a broad range of stakeholder audiences to create and coordinate opportunities to advance EERE's mission.
Key stakeholder engagement activities include:
- Coordinating outreach among technology programs to ensure relationships are leveraged to the benefit of EERE's entire portfolio.
- Fostering collaboration among stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities for EERE technology deployment and commercialization.
- Collecting stakeholder input and policy recommendations to ensure EERE's focus is aligned with stakeholder needs.
- Working with state and local governments and their respective national organizations to promote awareness of EERE's programs and technologies, as well as available technical assistance and funding opportunities.
- Coordinating EERE's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) efforts and workforce development activities.
- Helping create a crosscutting understanding of EERE's technology offices and their relationships with stakeholders, where one program's stakeholder relationship is leveraged to and for other programs, such as facilitating presentations on EERE's activities and budget request.
The External Relations Team works in close coordination with DOE's Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (CI), DOE’s Chief Financial Officer (CF), and EERE's Budget Office to serve as the primary liaison between EERE technology offices and congressional authorizing committees, as well as other committees and offices. The team also provides corporate guidance on congressional interaction and strategic advice on legislation relevant to EERE.
Key legislative affairs activities include:
- Leading EERE’s interactions with Congress, including preparing and staffing EERE leadership and program offices for congressional briefings and hearings, in addition to educating members of Congress and their staff about EERE's portfolio and accomplishments.
- Coordinating policy formulation and technical assistance related to policy between EERE leadership, DOE’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, DOE’s Office of Internationals Affairs, and DOE’s Office of the General Counsel. This coordination includes monitoring relevant legislation and helping policymakers better understand impacts, as well as reviewing proposed federal rules for impact to EERE and coordinating EERE comments to improve those proposals.
- Coordinating and managing the annual congressional tour of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.