The US Department of Energy announced the new Biden-Harris Administration senior leadership appointees on Thursday. Tarak Shah, an energy and policy expert who has spent the last decade working on combating climate change, will serve as Chief of Staff.
Shah, along with other new senior leadership appointees, will “direct policy at the DOE, coordinate across the Administration, and enact President Joe Biden’s vision for bold action on the climate crisis and on safeguarding the Americans most affected by it,” according to the DOE.
Tarak Shah was previously the Personnel lead for the Climate and Science team. From 2014-2017, he served as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Science and Energy at DOE. Shah has also worked on political campaigns, including President Obama’s Senate and presidential campaigns.
The DOE also announced its new Chief of Staff of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Shara Mohtadi. Mohtadi has focused her career advising policymakers and international organizations on mitigating climate change and advancing clean energy policies. She most recently led the America’s Pledge initiative and managed grants focused on the coal to clean energy transition in Asia and Australia at Bloomberg Philanthropies. During the Obama Administration, Mohtadi served as an advisor for the energy and environment portfolio at the White House, in the Office of Management and Budget.
In addition to appointing policy-makers with a focus on mitigating climate change, President Joe Biden took action on other factors affecting the environment immediately upon taking office. In his first day as president, he announced that the country is rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
President Biden also issued an executive order directing all executive departments and agencies to immediately review and address any federal regulations put into place during the last four years that conflict with his policy of “protecting public health and the environment.”