Update: Thanks to everyone who participated in the panel discussion and to those who submitted questions.

The complete panel session is avilable below.


On Nov. 1, 2011, MNN hosted a live panel discussion in Washington, D.C. during the 2011 GreenGov Symposium. Dr. Heidi Cullen, MNN Board of Advisors member and director of communications and senior research scientist for Climate Central, moderated the discussion featuring members of the Obama administration who discussed energy security, green fleets, green jobs, the future of the federal sustainability efforts, and more.



About the panelists:

Jonathan Powers is the special advisor on energy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy, and Environment) and director of outreach for the Energy Initiatives Task Force. Prior to his current position, Jon served as chief operating officer at the Truman National Security Project where he directed an energy security program, Operation Free. In this position he wrote extensively about the development of energy within the Defense Department and testified to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the national security implications of the nation's energy posture. Jon also served for four years as an officer in the U.S. Army, including a 15-month tour in Iraq with the 1st Armored Division as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom I.


Brian Deese works at the National Economic Council and is special assistant to the president for economic policy. Previously, he served as a member of the Economic Policy Working Group for the Obama-Biden transition. He emerged as "one of the most influential voices" in the Obama administration relative to the auto industry, specifically the Chrysler and GM workouts. Before joining the transition team, he was deputy economic policy director for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and, before that, for Gene Sperling in the 2008 Clinton campaign. Deese graduated from Middlebury College in 2000 with a degree in political science and from Yale Law School in 2009. Previously, he was a senior policy analyst for economic policy at the Center for American Progress.


Michelle Moore is the Obama administration’s federal environmental executive, and is responsible for promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship throughout the federal government’s operations. Housed within the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive was created by executive order in 1993. The office leads the implementation of President Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Sustainability (EO 13514) and the GreenGov initiative, working collaboratively with the Office of Management and Budget and each of the federal agencies.


Prior to joining CEQ, Michelle was senior vice president of policy and public affairs at the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization that developed and oversees the LEED certification system. During her tenure, she created partnerships and programs that helped to grow green building to a mainstream movement with more than 6 billion square feet of registered and certified green buildings in more than 90 countries. Her prior experience includes serving as director of eBusiness for Interface Inc., and launching a tech start-up in the design industry. Michelle holds a master’s of science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a bachelor of arts from Emory University.


Michael Robertson serves as an adviser to the administrator, with particular emphasis on furthering the Obama administration's agenda at the General Services Administration, or GSA. He works with client agencies and the White House to ensure that GSA finds creative and collaborative ways to be a leader in sustainability, open government, recovery and responsible acquisitions. Beginning August 2009, Robertson served as associate administrator of governmentwide policy and chief acquisition officer for GSA. As head of the Office of Governmentwide Policy, he worked to develop and evaluate policies for management of the federal government’s internal operations. In addition, as chief acquisition officer, Robertson was responsible for developing and reviewing acquisition policies, procedures, and related training for GSA and federal acquisition professionals. He also served as the functional manager of GSA's acquisition workforce. Robertson began his service with GSA in early 2009, when he was appointed as White House liaison. Before coming to GSA, Robertson served as the deputy working group lead for the energy and environment agency review team on the Obama-Biden Transition Project. Immediately prior to that, he served the Obama for America presidential campaign as the primary point person for securing endorsements and superdelegate support from House and Senate members.


Rachel Tronstein: In her role at the Department of Energy, Rachel focuses on how to make renewables cost-competitive with traditional forms of electricity in the near term. She joined the DOE in early 2009, first working in the Policy International Office with an emphasis on U.S.-China clean energy cooperation. Before coming to the DOE, Rachel worked at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York as the commitments senior manager focusing on clean energy. Rachel has a masters of science from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor of arts with honors from the University of Michigan, where she was president of the undergraduate student body.


About the Council on Environmental Quality:

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) coordinates federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices to develop environmental policies and initiatives. CEQ was established within the Executive Office of the president by Congress as part of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and additional responsibilities were provided by the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970.


About GreenGov Symposium:

GreenGov Symposium aims to bring together leaders from government, the private sector, nonprofits and academia to identify opportunities to create jobs, grow clean energy industries, and curb pollution by greening the federal government. It will be held in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, 2011. This year's event will be co-sponsored by CEQ and the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO).


Want to learn more about MNN?

The White House answers your questions on clean power, green energy and more
Join Mother Nature Network and the White House Council on Environmental Quality for a live panel discussion.