Charging Up: The latest women’s career moves in cleantech

Canary Media is shining a light on women’s cleantech career moves and employment issues. This week’s coverage includes job moves at Schneider Electric, QuantumScape and the DOE.
By Eric Wesoff

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A human figure is shown in silhouette along with wind turbines and the words Charging Up

The newly promoted chief innovation officer at Schneider Electric, Nadège Petit, writes, The energy industry is being disrupted for the first time in 100 years.”

QuantumScape, the publicly traded solid-state battery development company with a market cap of $11.6 billion, named Celina Mikolajczak as VP of manufacturing engineering to transition the firm’s tools and manufacturing from research and development to production. Mikolajczak joins QuantumScape from Panasonic Energy of North America, where she was VP of engineering and battery technology. Mikolajczak is resigning her seat on the QuantumScape board of directors.

Jessica Verhagen was promoted to CEO of Hydra Energy, a hydrogen injection technology startup looking to reduce emissions and replace diesel in commercial fleets. Prior to joining the startup in 2019, Verhagen was the VP of business development at Ecosphere. Hydra recently raised $12 million in funding from Just Business.

The U.S. Department of Energy named a number of women to senior positions in the past month:

Ann Dunkin is now chief information officer at the DOE. Dunkin was most recently the chief strategy and innovation officer focused on state and local government at Dell Technologies. Before that, she was the CIO for Santa Clara County, California. She served in the Obama administration as CIO of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yahaira Lopez was named deputy chief of staff at the DOE. Most recently, she served as director of people operations at Hawkfish, and prior to that was HR director for Vice President Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign. During the Obama administration, she worked across three different federal agencies: the departments of agriculture, defense and transportation.

Kathryn Huff was named principal deputy assistant secretary for nuclear energy. 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.


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Frances Borden, contemporary British painter based in Devon #womensart

Rebecca Pascale, previously with E Source, is now cleantech business development coordinator at Schneider Electric Energy and Sustainability Services.

Lucille Bonnet is now managing director at Alantra, investing in late-stage technology companies and teams accelerating the energy transition. Bonnet was previously with High-Tech Gründerfonds.

Women in Cleantech and Sustainability, founded by Lisa Ann Pinkerton in 2011, is a nonprofit 501(c)6 organization made up of nearly 3,000 professional women and men building the green economy. Here’s a link to an upcoming event presented by WCS on decarbonizing heavy industry.

Brandi Turner, previously director of utility partnerships at ChargePoint, is now senior manager of clean energy strategy consulting at AccentureAccenture.

Taryana Odayar is now editor at Power Finance & Risk. Her team is hiring a project finance reporter.

Leslie Weise is now senior counsel at EV charging network firm Volta Charging.

Antenna Group appointed Katelyn Davis as the agency’s first director of mobility and first hire in Detroit. Davis has led PR and communications for automotive and mobility clients and is the co-author of the forthcoming book Women Driven Mobility.

Each week, Aine Crossan and Maddie Walton’s herSustainability podcast explores the stories of women, in and out of the workplace, as they use their knowledge and talent to combat the climate crisis.

Canary Media is shining a light on women’s cleantech career moves and diversity issues. Reach out to [email protected] with any tips. 

Eric Wesoff is the editorial director at Canary Media.