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Jeff Marootian — President Joe Biden’s nominee for Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the Department of Energy — spoke about implementing “the President’s vision” and offered career advice at a Harvard Law School event Wednesday.
The event was co-hosted by the Environmental and Energy Law Program, Environmental Law Society, and Armenian Law Students Association at HLS. Marootian, who currently serves as a senior advisor in the Department of Energy, previously worked as director of the District Department of Transportation.
During his talk, Marootian said he “fell in love” with working within the transportation space in government because of the ability to “reduce carbon emissions and create healthier neighborhoods and communities.”
“The position that I’ve been nominated for at the Department of Energy, essentially it houses the nexus between transportation and clean energy,” he said. “It connects to transportation in such a critical and important way and in a way that’s really important for this Administration.”
Prior to the nomination, Marootian served in the Obama administration as Assistant Secretary for Administration and Chief Sustainability Officer for the U.S. Department of Transportation and as a member of the Biden-Harris transition team.
Marootian said his priority as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, if confirmed, is to “help execute and implement the President’s vision.”
“Largely, the portfolio that I am working on at the Department of Energy is really focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency in particular, but implementing Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act — three signature pieces of legislation of course, to this administration,” he said.
Marootian said, despite the fanfare surrounding these enacted pieces of legislation, implementing these policies requires additional work.
“Most of the fanfare is around the passage of the law, and getting those things kind of over the legislative finish line,” he said. “But the real details are the implementation of it, and so getting to be a part of the team that’s helping to drive progress on implementing is particularly important.”
Marootian also reflected on the role his Armenian heritage has played in his life and shared his appreciation for the Armenian Law Students Association, which co-hosted the event.
“I grew up in North Jersey,” he said. “I was probably the only Armenian kid that I knew anyway, other than my sister, so I always welcome the opportunity to be a part of any other Armenian community that will have me.”
“A lot of what I’ve done in my career, and a lot of the relationships and networking that have helped get me to where I am today, has been through many folks in the Armenian community who have always looked out for me,” he added. “It’s really important that we as young adult professionals and as professionals just continue to look out for each other — so appreciate the opportunity to be here.”
—Staff writer Caroline E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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