Carla Frisch is the Acting Executive Director and Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Policy; she has served in this capacity since February 2021. As the leader of the DOE Office of Policy, Frisch is on point for domestic energy and climate policy. She works closely with the White House and Capitol Hill. She previously led the U.S. Program at RMI, focusing on state, city, and business climate action. Before joining RMI, Frisch worked at DOE for ten years directing policy and analysis offices focused on climate and environment, energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, and electricity systems. Frisch has worked extensively on climate vulnerabilities and solutions, including on the National Climate Assessment and U.S. Midcentury Strategy. She holds a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a B.A. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University.
As OP Chief of Staff, Gina Coplon-Newfield helps set up for success the Executive Director as well as the full OP team. She also oversees a number of clean energy policy initiatives. Prior to her role as Chief of Staff, Coplon-Newfield was the founding Director of Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All Campaign where she led the organization’s advocacy for the electrification of cars, trucks, and buses as well as defense of public transit policies and clean car standards. Previously, she ran campaigns and programs at Physicians for Human Rights, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines, and a Boston-based lead poisoning prevention initiative. She also served on the Massachusetts Zero Emission Vehicle Commission. She earned an MPA at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Tufts University.
Steve Capanna is the Director of Technology Policy, where he oversees a portfolio focused on identifying technology innovations and strategies that will help achieve national energy and climate priorities. Prior to rejoining DOE in the fall of 2021, Capanna was Director of U.S. Climate Policy and Analysis at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where he led EDF’s innovation portfolio. He was previously at DOE from 2011 to 2019, where he was Director of Strategic Analysis in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He began his career in 2005 working in policy and research at the Alliance to Save Energy. Capanna earned his M.A. in International Energy and Environmental Policy and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, where he majored in Political Science and French.
As the Director of State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Policy, Dr. Taresa Lawrence leads a team that develops policies and strategies for states, local governments, tribal nations, and territories to help advance climate goals. The team also prioritize community-driven action plans to support the transition to a clean, resilient, and equitable energy economy. Prior to joining DOE, Dr. Lawrence served as Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment, where she developed and implemented clean energy and climate plans, policies, and programs for all end-use sectors. She previously served as a Regulatory Economist at the Maryland Public Service Commission, and Center Director of the Small Business Development Center at the Howard University Center for Urban Progress. Dr. Lawrence holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Howard University, and a master’s in Economics from University of Manchester, England.
Neelesh Nerurkar is Director for Deployment and Infrastructure. Leading a team of experts, he advises Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the White House, and Congress on policies to drive investment in clean, affordable, and reliable energy solutions. Prior to joining OP, Nerurkar was Vice President at Clearview Energy Partners, where he advised institutional investors and corporate strategists on climate and clean energy issues. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and as senior energy policy advisor at the White House, Department of State, and Congressional Research Service. He has also served as an energy economist in government and industry. Nerurkar holds a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Betony Jones is the Director of the Office of Energy Jobs, where she oversees jobs and workforce development strategies across the department as well as engagement with organized labor and other stakeholders to ensure that DOE’s policies and program implementation result in high-quality jobs and economic equity. Prior to joining the Office of Energy Jobs, Jones was a Senior Advisor on Workforce for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Jones began her career working on climate science in the White House Office of Science and Technology policy in the Clinton Administration, where she saw the complex economy-wide nature of climate change as both a challenge and an opportunity. From there, she spent 20 years directing implementation and conducting policy research to demonstrate the employment and economic impacts and opportunities associated with climate action, including as Associate Director of the Green Economy program at the University of California Labor Center and as Founder and CEO of Inclusive Economics, a national strategy firm working at the intersection of labor, workforce, and clean energy. She has published dozens of papers and reports on these topics, and is a nationally-recognized expert in labor-climate issues. Jones earned her Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a B.S. degree from the University of Michigan.
Nita Browne serves as the OP Operations Resource Manager. She oversees all aspects of human resource management and strategic workforce planning, including administrative, operations, and security programs. She is responsible for developing and implementing effective human capital policies and programs that enable OP workforce to achieve its mission, ensuring compliance and alignment with programmatic objectives and Administration and Departmental priorities. Browne advises and assists the Executive Director and other senior officials in recruiting, staffing, and developing, training, and managing a highly skilled, productive, and diverse workforce in accordance with merit system principles and all statutory requirements. Ms. Browne joined DOE in 1990. Prior to this position, she held leadership positions in domestic and international policy offices. She holds a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College in College Park, Maryland.