Black History Month marks a time to recognize, celebrate, and reflect on the history and lives of African Americans. To take part in the celebrations this year, we met with five members of the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) to hear about their roles and what Black History Month means to them.  

We hope you enjoy reading their spotlights below  If you would like to continue learning more about our #EmployeeAppreciation and #FECMAllStars, explore our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages!  

Michelle Duncan-McDuffie, Executive Assistant


What work do you do for FECM? 

I am the Executive Assistant for FECM and provide administrative support to Assistant Secretary Brad Crabtree. The majority of my work includes scheduling and keeping his calendar up to date, working on briefing materials and travel details, and providing assistance when needed to our Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Jennifer Wilcox.  I also support our Chief of Staff, Priyanka Hooghan and Special Assistant, Gabe Hernandez. With the ever-changing world of carbon management, I am never too busy to help others when needed.   

What does Black History Month mean to you? 

We must integrate our past with our present so we can embrace our future. We are standing on the shoulders of someone else. And because of their efforts, we are building a system that gives greater room for economic growth, justice, and equality for all. Black History is American History! 

Acqueetta Ragland-Higdon, Senior Management Analyst


What work do you do for FECM? 

I am a Senior Management Analyst for FECM and work in the Office of Research and Development for the Office of Resource Sustainability. I previously supported the Office of Carbon Management for 21 years.  

What does Black History Month Mean to you? 

Black History Month re-ignites in me a great sense of pride to remember my people who struggled and sacrificed in the hope for a better future and way of life. Remarkably, while fighting for equality, these heroes and heroines had the wherewithal to make countless contributions in science and technology, medicine, and agriculture—many talented gifts that made this country as great as it is today.   

Black History Month is also a time to reflect, not only about the past, but also the present and the future, and leaving a lasting legacy that we all should participate in to make the world a better place with liberty and justice for all. 

Aaron Fuller, Ph.D., Engineer


What work do you do for FECM?  

I am an engineer in the Carbon Dioxide Removal and Conversion Division of the Office of Carbon Management Technologies. In this role, I support the division director and management in program planning/road-mapping and provide technical support and expertise in the development of strategic documents for short and long-term implementation.  

I also help establish and maintain effective, excellent quality, accurate, and unambiguous lines of communication with external stakeholders, perform project management duties for various research and development projects in carbon conversion, among other responsibilities.  

What does Black History Month mean to you?  

Black history has a rich tradition. It is of great value to integrate other minorities equally to celebrate their contributions to the United States of America. So, for me, Black History Month means that all ethnicities in this melting pot of America will learn about African American contributions.  

Despite grave injustices inflicted upon them throughout  the nation's history, African Americans aspire to remain resilient to make more outstanding contributions to this land that sought to marginalize their existence. This display of strength and fortitude will continue to encourage and inspire future generations worldwide.   

Cynthia Lacey, Program Analyst


What work do you do for FECM? 

I provide administrative support to FECM’s Office of Carbon Management. Some of my key responsibilities include organizing and scheduling meetings and making travel arrangements. 

What does Black History Month mean to you?  

Black History Month gives me a sense of identity. I am proud of the accomplishments that my ancestors made from slavery to freedom. Knowing what struggles my ancestors went through makes me appreciate and not take for granted my freedom and opportunities.   

Marc A. Willis, Director of Communications


What work do you do for FECM? 

I am the Director of Communications for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. In this role, I lead a team of first-rate communications professionals as we work to inform and educate our stakeholders about the research, development, deployment, and demonstration work our FECM scientists are doing to advance carbon management approaches toward deep decarbonization.   

What does Black History Month mean to you?  

Black History Month is a time to recognize the contributions Black people have made to American History.  In science, the arts, politics, and in business, African Americans have played a role in every field of human endeavor.