Photograph of Andrew Light

Andrew Light, Ph.D., is Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs. He started at the Department of Energy on January 20, 2021, leading the Office of International Affairs as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary before his nomination by President Biden as Assistant Secretary on April 28, and confirmation by the U.S. Senate on August 11, 2021.  Since starting at DOE, Andrew has led the department in initiating and expanding some three dozen bilateral energy dialogues, forums, councils, and partnerships with countries from all regions of the world.  His primary focus in these forums has been to increase their work on clean energy and energy security – whether renewables, nuclear, abated fossil fuels, or new technologies such as hydrogen -- in response to the threat of climate change, and to grow good-paying American energy jobs in the burgeoning global clean energy market.  With respect to multilateral forums, Andrew is Vice Chair of the Governing Board of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Chair of the IEA Ministerial Bureau,  U.S. representative to the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation Steering Committees, lead U.S. negotiator and Ministerial Sherpa for the energy tracks of the G7 and G20, and directs all U.S. Department of Energy engagement at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and other global platforms.  He is working now on launching the first Global Clean Energy Action Forum, to be held September 21-23 in Pittsburgh, PA, which will combine the 13th meeting of the Clean Energy Ministerial and the 7th meeting of the Mission Innovation ministerial with a broader, more comprehensive and inclusive clean energy business, innovation, and civil society forum.

During the second half of the Obama administration, Andrew served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change in the U.S. Department of State, as well as a staff climate adviser in Secretary of State John Kerry’s Office of Policy Planning.  In that position he was U.S. Director of the U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Combating Climate Change, Chair of the U.S. Interagency Climate Working Group for creation and negotiation of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and worked on the senior strategy team for the UN climate negotiations.  Andrew shared in a Superior Honor Award from the State Department in July 2016, for contributions to the “historic success” of the creation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Outside of government, Andrew has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute, where he led high-level climate and energy dialogues between non-governmental U.S. participants and counterparts in India, China, and the European Union, and co-authored over 20 major policy reports on clean energy and climate cooperation, governance, and economic opportunity.  Since 2008 he has been at George Mason University, where he is currently on leave as University Professor of Philosophy, Public Policy, and Atmospheric Sciences, working primarily on the normative dimensions of climate change, restoration ecology, and urban sustainability.

Andrew’s confirmation hearing testimony can be read here; the video of the hearing is here