Skip to main content

Joe Biden expands his climate team with six policy experts

In December, Electrek reported that President-elect Joe Biden named the NRDC’s Gina McCarthy domestic climate czar. McCarthy and her deputy, Ali Zaidi, will coordinate action across multiple federal agencies and Congress. Here’s a brief background on six of Biden’s latest appointments to McCarthy’s climate team [via E&E], and more hires will follow.

David Hayes, special assistant to the president for climate policy: Executive director for New York University’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, where he helped state attorneys general fight the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks. Deputy interior secretary during the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Cecilia Martinez, senior director for environmental justice, the White House Council on Environmental Quality: Served on Biden’s climate engagement advisory council since the general election campaign. Co-founder and executive director of the Minneapolis-based Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, and has worked as a research professor at the University of Delaware.

Maggie Thomas, chief of staff, the Office of Domestic Climate Policy: First served as deputy climate director for Governor Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) presidential campaign, and then as Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) climate policy adviser. Political director at Evergreen Action. She was on the Interior Department agency review team and was a policy volunteer during the campaign. She is a NextGen America alumna.

Sonia Aggarwal, senior adviser, climate policy and innovation: Cofounder of the think tank Energy Innovation, where she led policy and analytical programs. The firm helped the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis create its report of policy recommendations. Aggarwal managed global research at the ClimateWorks Foundation.

Jahi Wise, senior adviser, climate policy and finance: policy volunteer on the Biden campaign. Policy director, the Coalition for Green Capital, a clean energy accelerator, where he led the push to create a national climate bank. He formerly worked for BlocPower, which aims to cut building emissions.

Jeff Marootian, special assistant to the president for climate and science agency personnel, working within the Presidential Personnel Office: Director of the District of Columbia’s Transportation Department. Served on the agency review team for the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Previously the DOT’s liaison to the Obama White House, assistant secretary for administration and chief sustainability officer.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.