Clean energy jobs
Canary Media’s Charging Up column chronicles gender diversity in the climatetech sector. Part one is a short Q&A with an industry role model about their career path. Part two features updates on career transitions. Please send feedback and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canary thanks BayWa r.e. for its support of the column.
Stacy Noblet: Transportation electrification enthusiast
Stacy Noblet is vice president of transportation electrification at ICF and ICF Climate Center senior fellow. This interview has been edited and condensed for brevity.
How did you end up on this career path?
I’ve been with ICF since graduating college, so coming up on 19 years. I’ve always had an interest in sustainability and followed that passion through college and to ICF, where early on, I spent years supporting alternative fuels and transportation, and of course, transportation electrification. This really gave me an opportunity to tap into my roots. I grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, home of the Ford Motor Company, and I was around the auto industry from an early age. It is exciting now to see the innovation and development in the industry and commitments from automakers to address the climate issue through the types of electric vehicles they’re offering.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A message that I have received over and over again in my career is to take risks — to take on new positions or tasks that might feel uncomfortable. Really, that’s the only way to grow and develop, and I’ve certainly been willing to step up, raise my hand and take the opportunities that are given to me.
What is a barrier you faced, and how did you overcome it?
This may be a self-inflicted barrier, but as the transportation-electrification industry was starting to take off from scratch, I felt the need to understand as much as I possibly could, getting into the weeds on all the technologies, policies and economic considerations. But I work with an incredibly talented and knowledgeable group of people both within ICF and throughout the industry, so now I am starting to overcome that. It has really been a matter of acknowledging that I don’t need to be everything to everyone. Instead, I can focus on knowing enough about a lot of things while looking to other individuals or organizations to fill in the details as needed.
What do you think are some interesting, overlooked career opportunities in climatetech?
There are a lot of opportunities at the intersection between what we might consider traditional industries and those that are more innovative or cutting-edge. The utility industry is a good example: It’s been around for a long time, and I don’t think “innovative” and “cutting-edge” are the words that many would think of to describe it. But the reality is that utilities are on the front lines of some of the more exciting pilot projects and customer programs. There are opportunities to take a really progressive role and move a more traditional industry forward instead of going directly to startup companies or even high-level cleantech companies.
What is your superpower?
Being the connective tissue between people or organizations that may not interact otherwise. I do my best to maintain relationships, both personally and professionally, and that’s powerful when you’re helping to share best practices or put one person in touch with someone they can learn from or partner with. In transportation electrification, a lot of nontraditional partnerships need to happen for things to move forward, so I try to play a role in matchmaking and making introductions. Everyone is heads-down and busy trying to solve these big issues that we’re tackling, but it’s important to look up and recognize that those connections can be incredibly valuable. So I think my superpower is maintaining relationships and leveraging them to make magical connections happen.
Ash Dunner has joined EnergyHub, an independent subsidiary of Alarm.com, as director of implementation services. Dunner was previously with GridUnity. EnergyHub’s software platform allows consumers to collectively turn their smart thermostats and water heaters into virtual power plants that keep the grid stable and enable higher penetration of solar and wind power.
Mona Dajani, formerly at the law firm Pillsbury, has taken on the role of global head of renewables, hydrogen and ammonia, as well as the role of global co-head of energy and infrastructure, at law firm Shearman & Sterling.
For the record
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, only 21% of the global wind energy workforce are women. That is lower than the renewables sector overall and lower than the oil and gas industry.
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