Since 1985, the United States has set aside the first week of May to celebrate Public Service Recognition Week. This recognition honors the hardworking individuals serving our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees.
At the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), we are privileged to share the inspiring stories of our employees. They demonstrate the power of taking action toward advancing clean energy technologies and building a more sustainable future. They also serve as shining examples of how anyone can become a Clean Energy Champion.
From May 8 to 12, 2023, EERE will introduce you to some of our outstanding public servants to learn why they serve. Below is a brief interview with Michele Boyd, a program manager in the Solar Energy Technologies Office.
Michele Boyd (she/her/hers)
Program Manager, Solar Energy Technologies Office
7 years of public service
What drew you to public service?
I am motivated by work that is in the public interest. I want to get up in the morning to tackle big societal challenges, like climate change, in concrete ways.
What does being in public service mean to you?
In my current position, being in public service means solving barriers to the deployment of solar energy through improved permitting, siting, and interconnection, and enabling solar energy to equitably benefit disadvantaged communities.
What aspect of public service do you find most rewarding?
I feel most rewarded when I am working directly with stakeholders and can offer real solutions to their challenges—for example, through our research or technical assistance programs. I especially enjoy stakeholder engagement activities like workshops, where I can learn about all the perspectives on an issue and improve how government meets stakeholder needs.
Can you describe the path that brought you to EERE/your career in clean energy?
I studied biology, intending to be a veterinarian, but after reading “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson and doing an internship at a nonprofit, I wanted to work on solving environmental challenges. For the first part of my career, I was a public interest advocate on environmental and policy issues related to nuclear weapons disarmament, nuclear power, and nuclear waste management. When I decided to change my focus to renewable energy, solar energy grabbed my imagination and excitement. I came to the Solar Energy Technologies Office seven years ago, and I still love the work.
What advice do you have for Clean Energy Champions who want to pursue careers in public service?
I would advise that they stay grounded in why they want to do this work and how they can make a positive impact for the public interest. The work is challenging but can be incredibly rewarding.
Clean Energy Jobs
EERE is hiring! Check out these career opportunities, and read more about jobs for Clean Energy Champions.
Clean En∙er∙gy Cham∙pi∙on
/klēn/ /ˈenərjē/ /ˈCHampēən/
1. A person or group that takes action to support or join the transition to a renewable energy economy, with the knowledge that reducing carbon emissions provides daily benefits to every American so they can live happy and healthy lives.