Kelly Speakes-Backman appointed to US DoE new senior leadership team
The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced that it has appointed Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the National Energy Storage Association (ESA) in the newly appointed senior leadership team. Speakes-Backman, chosen as the first-ever CEO of the trade association in 2017, has been appointed by the incoming administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Speakes-Backman and other appointees took up their posts on 21 January 2021. A former utility commissioner in her home state of Maryland, Kelly Speakes-Backman has been the leader of the ESA during a period of fast growth and rapid scale-up for energy storage in the US, with more than 2GW installed during that time. The ESA’s Board of Directors expressed that they are “thrilled for Kelly to take on this role and look forward to seeing her flourish as a key leader driving the country’s clean energy future”. The Board echoed that it looks forward to working with the new presidential administration as well as with Congress, “to promote policies that can help us realize the full potential of energy storage for our country”. In the meantime, ESA’s vice president of policy, Jason Burwen, has been named as interim CEO of the trade association, which represents hundreds of stakeholders throughout the complete US energy storage value chain. Burwen has been ESA’s policy lead since 2015. “I have full confidence that under the leadership of Jason, the devoted and incredibly talented team at ESA will endure to carry out its mission warranting the voice of energy storage is heard in Washington, and by regulators and state lawmakers across the country,” ESA chairman of the board John D Hewa, president and CEO of Rappahanock Electric Cooperative said.