Wednesday, January 19 – Opening Remarks
Jennifer M. Granholm was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of Energy on February 25, 2021, becoming just the second woman to lead the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Secretary Granholm will lead DOE in helping America achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by advancing cutting-edge clean energy technologies, creating millions of good-paying union clean energy jobs, and building an equitable clean energy future. Secretary Granholm will also oversee DOE’s core missions of promoting American leadership in scientific discovery, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing nuclear danger, and remediating the environmental harms caused by legacy defense programs.
Prior to her nomination as Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm was the first woman elected Governor of Michigan, serving two terms from 2003 to 2011.
As Governor, Jennifer Granholm faced economic downturns caused by the Great Recession and meltdown in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. She successfully led efforts to diversify the state’s economy, strengthen its auto industry, preserve the manufacturing sector, and add emerging sectors — such as clean energy — to Michigan’s economic portfolio. Today, one-third of all North American electric vehicle battery production takes place in Michigan, the state is one of the top five states for clean energy patents, and 126,000 Michiganders were employed in the clean energy sector prior to COVID-19.
Secretary Granholm was also the first woman elected Attorney General of Michigan and served as the state’s top law enforcement officer from 1998 to 2002.
After two terms as governor, Jennifer Granholm joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as a Distinguished Professor of Practice in the Goldman School of Public Policy, focusing on the intersection of law, clean energy, manufacturing, policy, and industry. She also served as an advisor to the Clean Energy Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Jennifer Granholm began her career in public service as a judicial clerk for Michigan's 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. She became a federal prosecutor in Detroit in 1990, and in 1994, she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel.
Secretary Granholm, an immigrant from Canada, is an honors graduate of both the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She and her husband, Daniel G. Mulhern, have three children.
Wednesday, January 19 - 8:30 a.m.
Gina McCarthy is the first National Climate Advisor—the president's chief advisor on domestic climate policy—and leads the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy focused on mobilizing a whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis, creating good-paying, union jobs, and securing environmental justice. Previously, she served as 13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and then as President and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). One of the nation’s most trusted and accomplished voices on climate issues, she has been at the forefront of environmental and public health progress in a variety of leading roles for over three decades.
In her time leading the EPA, McCarthy oversaw successful efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, mitigate air pollution, conserve critical water sources, and safeguard vulnerable communities from chemical hazards. She spearheaded the Obama-Biden Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which set America’s first-ever national standards for lowering carbon emissions from power plants, and helped pave the way for the Paris Climate Agreement. Prior to her role with the NRDC, McCarthy was a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the Harvard Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment.
Throughout her career, McCarthy has advised five administrations of both Democratic and Republican Massachusetts governors on environmental matters, and she served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection prior to being appointed by President Obama to head up the EPA’s Air Office. As EPA administrator, she pursued innovative global collaborations with the United Nations and the World Health Organization, and on global efforts to address pollution. Born and raised in Boston, McCarthy graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston and earned a master of science at Tufts University.
Wednesday, January 19 - 12:30 p.m.
Janet McCabe was sworn in as the 16th Deputy Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency on April 29, 2021. Deputy Administrator McCabe returns to EPA after spending seven years working as Acting Assistant Administrator and Principal Deputy to the Assistant Administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation under President Barack Obama.
Prior to rejoining EPA, Janet McCabe was a Professor of Practice at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and Director of the IU Environmental Resilience Institute, where she started as Assistant Director for Policy and Implementation in 2017. Her work at Indiana University centered on establishing innovative, research-informed, and actionable solutions to reduce environmental risks and help protect the health of communities and families.
Over the course of her career, McCabe has spent time working for state environmental agencies in Massachusetts and her long-time adopted home state of Indiana, with a focus on implementation of the Clean Air Act and other air quality issues. Prior to joining EPA in November 2009, McCabe was Executive Director of Improving Kids’ Environment, Inc., a children’s environmental health advocacy organization based in Indianapolis.
McCabe knows firsthand through these experiences that programs to improve public health and protect our environment are strongest when they are informed by a diversity of perspectives, and rooted in science, transparency, and the law.
McCabe grew up in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Harvard College in 1980 and Harvard Law School in 1983. From 1983 to 1984 she clerked for Justice Neil L. Lynch of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She and her husband have three children and two grandchildren.
Thursday, January 20 - 8:30 a.m.
Keynote Presentation: Sterling will plan to speak about how to develop, launch, and track the progress of a safe, scalable self-driving product. Looking through the lens of Aurora's approach, he'll share some of our early, foundational investments in key areas of our technology, to our comprehensive safety case framework, to the importance of our deep partnerships across the industry, all of which help us to develop safely, deploy quickly, and scale broadly.
Biography: Sterling Anderson is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Aurora, the company delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. A longtime developer of autonomous vehicle technology, Sterling developed the MIT Intelligent Co-Pilot, a shared autonomy framework that paved the way for broad advances in cooperative control of human-machine systems. In 2014, he joined Tesla, where he led the design, development, and launch of the Tesla Model X and then led the team that delivered Tesla Autopilot. Sterling holds several patents and over a dozen publications in autonomous vehicle systems and earned his Masters and Ph.D. from MIT.
Thursday, January 20 - 12:30 p.m.
NHTSA Chief Counsel Ann Carlson oversees legal services across the agency, including the agency’s statutory authorities. Her office supports NHTSA’s mission in a variety of ways, including setting and enforcing fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, setting and enforcing vehicle safety standards, and overseeing investigations and litigation.
Before joining NHTSA in January 2021, Carlson’s work primarily focused on climate change and air pollution law and policy. At the UCLA School of Law, Carlson was the Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and the faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. She also served as the California Assembly’s representative to the Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee and won three teaching awards, including the highest honor awarded by UCLA.
Carlson is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and Harvard Law School, and has co-authored a leading environmental casebook, co-edited a book Lessons from the Clean Air Act, and written numerous environmental law publications.