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Woman sitting in a U.S. Department of Energy vehicle.
Leslie Nicholls "driving progress" during her visit to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in January 2020.

On April 3, Daniel R. Simmons, the U.S. Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), appointed Leslie Nicholls as the new Director of the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which took effect on April 12, 2020.

Nicholls brings nearly three decades of energy sector and executive leadership experience to her role. She succeeds Rob Ivester, who has returned to the National Institute of Standards and Technology where, before joining the U.S. Department of Energy, he led and performed research in advanced manufacturing for more than 16 years.

Nicholls served as FEMP’s Strategic Director since December 2018, and prior to that, she served as FEMP's Acting Director from January 2017 through November 2018. In these roles, she led strategic initiatives to improve the energy performance of federal facilities, including supporting the program’s expansion in technology validation to address federal sector energy, water, and resilience needs. Nicholls is also the driving force behind the Energy Exchange, a widely recognized training and trade show focusing on efficient, resilient, and secure federal operations to support mission assurance.

With this change, Joanne Lowry will take over responsibilities as FEMP's Strategic Director. Lowry joined FEMP in 2019 in support of FEMP's Resilience and Security Program and previously served as Operations Supervisor in EERE's Building Technologies Office.