U.S. Department of Energy Welcomes New Biden-Harris Appointees | site |



(Information contained in U.S. Department of Energy press release dated: May 10, 2021)

Washington, D.C. - - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced additional Biden-Harris Administration appointees that have joined the team to help build a more prosperous and equitable clean energy future for the American people.

“During the first 100 days of this Administration, the DOE team has been working quickly and urgently to deliver on President Biden’s bold climate and clean energy goals—and these latest additions bring even more muscle to our efforts,” said Chief of Staff Tarak Shah. “We’re thrilled to have their talent and expertise in our ranks as we continue to advance innovative, equitable clean energy solutions that will create millions of good-paying jobs and launch every American worker and community into a greener future.”

New appointees and their roles are listed below:

Dave Bloom, Speechwriter, Office of Public Affairs

Dave Bloom most recently served as Senior Speechwriter & Communications Specialist to Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia. Previously, he worked as a speechwriter at NextGen America. Bloom started his career at the speechwriting and strategy firm West Wing Writers. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Science and hails from Miami, Florida.


Ann Dunkin, Chief Information Officer

Ann Dunkin was most recently the Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer focused on state and local government at Dell Technologies. Prior to that, she was the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the County of Santa Clara. Dunkin served in the Obama Administration as CIO of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Previously, she was the Chief Technology Officer for the Palo Alto Unified School District, after a long career at Hewlett Packard in a variety of leadership roles focused on Engineering, Research & Development, IT, Manufacturing Engineering, Software Quality and Operations.

Dunkin is a published author, most recently of the book Industrial Digital Transformation, and a speaker on the topics of government technology modernization, digital transformation and organizational development. Dunkin was named one of ComputerWorld’s Premier 100 Technology Leaders for 2016, one of DC’s Top 50 Women in Technology for 2015 and 2016, and to StateScoop's Top 50 Women in Technology list for 2017. In 2018, she was inducted into Georgia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni. Dunkin holds an M.S. and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a licensed professional engineer in the states of California and Washington.


Kathryn Huff, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy

Dr. Kathryn D. Huff was most recently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she led the Advanced Reactors and Fuel Cycles Research Group and was a Blue Waters Assistant Professor with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Before her faculty appointment, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in both the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at the University of California-Berkeley.

Dr. Huff received her Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013, and a B.A. in Physics from the University of Chicago. Her research includes modeling and simulation of advanced nuclear reactors and fuel cycles. She has been an active member of the American Nuclear Society, Chair of the Nuclear Nonproliferation and Policy Division, a past chair of the Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division, and a recipient of both the Young Member Excellence and Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women's Achievement awards. Through leadership within Software Carpentry, SciPy, the Hacker Within, and the Journal of Open Source Software, she has also advocated for best practices in open, reproducible scientific computing.


Yahaira Lopez, Deputy Chief of Staff

Yahaira Lopez has led operations management and human capital strategy for a variety of corporate, governmental and political organizations. Most recently, she served as Director of People Operations at Hawkfish LLC, and prior to that was Human Resources Director for Vice President Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign. During the Obama Administration, she worked across three different federal agencies, first managing environmental policy initiatives at the Department of Agriculture, and later pivoting to political personnel at the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation. Lopez’s academic background is in natural resource conservation, which led her to work with several environmental nonprofit organizations as an educator and program manager for ten years. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico-Humacao and is a Certified Nonprofit Professional. She is also the proud mom of a rising high school freshman.


Elizabeth Noll, Deputy Assistant Secretary for House Affairs

Elizabeth Noll has spent her career enabling policy solutions to tackle our nation’s energy system challenges and address the climate crisis. Most recently, Noll was Vice President at the Coefficient Group, and before that worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council where she oversaw federal clean energy policy for the building, transportation and power sectors, working with Congress, the Administration and clean energy industry partners. A native of Alabama, Elizabeth received her B.S. from Clemson University and her M.S. in Public Policy from Georgia Institute of Technology.


Charisma Troiano, Deputy Press Secretary, Office of Public Affairs

Charisma L. Troiano most recently served as Director of Communications for Democracy Forward, a public interest litigation firm fighting against corruption in government policymaking. Previously, she served as Press Secretary for the late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. Born into a proud family of immigrants, Troiano started her career as a legal journalist for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. She lives with her husband and splits time between Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. Troiano is a graduate of Vassar College and New York Law School.


Becca Ward, Legislative Advisor, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs

Becca Ward most recently served as the Managing Director of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, a national organization dedicated to creating new energy leadership for an equitable, resilient, and decarbonized energy ecosystem. Previously, she served as U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley's Legislative Assistant working on energy, climate, and transportation policy. Ward is from Portland, Oregon, and received her B.A. in Public Policy and Energy Technologies from Duke University.


Aimee Witteman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs

Aimee Witteman most recently was Director of U.S. States Policy at Energy Innovation, where she supported state efforts to build an equitable and just energy economy. She previously was Program Director at the McKnight Foundation where she designed and led the Midwest Climate & Energy program focused on decarbonizing the power, buildings, transportation, and working lands sectors in the upper Midwest, embedding a focus on strategic democratic participation and racial equity. Witteman served as executive director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in Washington, D.C. where she advocated for policy reform to advance the sustainability of food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a M.S. from Tufts University.