The EJM team has more than 30 year’s experience shaping U.S. energy policy in government and academia.
Melanie Kenderdine is a Principal for EJM Associates. She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank. She previously served at the Department of Energy from May 2013 - January 2017, as the Energy Counselor to the Secretary and concurrently as the Director of DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. Her 100-person office was responsible for analysis and policy development in areas that included: energy innovation; climate change; energy security; energy systems and infrastructure; and North American energy integration. She wrote or edited two installments of the federal government’s Quadrennial Energy Review, was a principal architect of the G-7 Energy Security Principles adopted by G-7 leaders in Brussels in 2014; and was the editor of the Energy Security Valuation Study, submitted to Congress in early 2017. In her capacity as energy counselor to the Secretary, Ms. Kenderdine provided key strategic advice on a broad range of issue across the Department of Energy including Mission Innovation, a 22-country+EU initiative that supports transformational clean energy RD&D; North American grid integration and security; and the modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an initiative that is currently authorized by the Congress to invest $2 billion in new infrastructure to enhance the SPR’s capabilities. She was a member of DOE’s Credit Review Board and the Secretary’s Energy Council.
Prior to her service at DOE, Ms. Kenderdine helped to establish the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and served as its Executive Director. During her six-year tenure at MITEI, she managed a large research and administrative staff, was a member of the research team for MIT’s Future of Natural Gas Study, was the rapporteur and editor for the MITEI Symposium Series, and edited the MIT Future of the Electric Grid study. Kenderdine started the C3E Symposium series, a joint MIT-DOE program to support the careers of women in clean energy with cash prizes; she still serves as a DOE C3E Ambassador. While she was MITEI’s Executive Director, the Initiative raised over $500 million for the Institute through a unique structure that supported research funds for almost 30% of MIT’s faculty and an energy minor program that remains one of the largest minor programs at MIT.
Before joining MITEI, Ms. Kenderdine served as the Vice President of Washington Operations for the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) from 2001 to 2007. At GTI, she was involved in major initiatives to increase domestic natural gas supply through research and development; enhance energy efficiency; and advance the security of critical energy infrastructures. While at GTI, Ms. Kenderdine established a separate not-for-profit company, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), taking it from an MOU between GTI and one university, to an industry/academic unconventional natural gas research consortium of 26 universities and 30 industry partners. In 2005, RPSEA competed for and won a $375 million unconventional gas research contract with the federal government. Ms. Kenderdine served as the original CEO of RPSEA and was one of its founding board members. Concurrently, she was the architect of the Royalty Trust Fund legislation, the only trust fund in the federal budget ever that has been dedicated to energy R&D.
From 1993 to 2001, Ms. Kenderdine was a political appointee in President Bill Clinton’s administration, where she served in several key posts at DOE, including Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary, Director of the Office of Policy, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. During her tenure at DOE in the Clinton Administration, Ms. Kenderdine was the primary architect of the SPR oil exchange of 2000, the creation of the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, and the return of the Naval Oil Shale Reserve No. 2 to the Ute tribe in Utah, the largest land transfer back to Native Americans in the lower 48 in over 100 years. Prior to joining DOE during the Clinton Administration, Ms. Kenderdine was Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for New Mexico Congressman Bill Richardson, supporting his work on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for six years, including the repeal of the Fuel Use Act, efforts to support the domestic uranium mining industry, Superfund, the deregulation of natural gas, and the creation of wilderness areas.
In 2014, Ms. Kenderdine was named by the National Journal as one of the top five women in Washington shaping energy policy and is the longest serving political appointee in the Department of Energy’s 40-year history. Ms. Kenderdine is on the Board of Our Energy Policy.Org, and is a frequent lecturer and speaker on energy policy across the country and around the world. She has published articles in the World Energy Forum magazine, Physics Today, and co-authored chapters in two editions of the book “Energy Security in the 21st Century: A New Foreign Policy Strategy.” Ms. Kenderdine has been married to Steven Cary for 28 years and has one son, Victor, a 2014 graduate of MIT and now a graduate student in Petroleum Engineering at New Mexico Tech. Melanie is the Board Chair of the Alliance of Hope, a nation-wide support network for survivors of suicide. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, and has homes in northern Virginia, New Mexico and Hawaii. She is an avid global traveler and an amateur fly fisherperson.