Department of Energy Taps Environmentalist Kevin Knobloch '78 as Chief of Staff

Kevin Knobloch
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kevin Knobloch '78 (journalism),  president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), has been named chief of staff to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz, a respected physicist and leader on energy technology and policy, starting on June 24. Dr. Kathleen Rest, UCS’s executive director, will oversee the organization as it searches for a new president.

“The bar for leaving my post is very high, and I would only do so for a call to public service of this order," says Knobloch. "The priorities of Secretary Moniz and the DOE, including reducing carbon emissions, expanding clean renewable energy, and reducing the threat of nuclear weapons and fissile material, have been passions throughout my career. This is a strong opportunity to improve the health and safety of all Americans....I know I am leaving an organization that is stronger than it has ever been, with an ambitious, clear view of what must be accomplished. UCS has a world-class, dedicated board, a talented and whip-smart staff and a large, growing group of members, donors and foundations who support the organization because it gets results.”

Dr. Rest says, “We are so proud to see Kevin serve our country in this influential role at DOE. As president of our organization for the last decade, he has worked with many of the nation’s leading scientists and has a deep understanding of the urgent need to dramatically reduce heat-trapping emissions. Kevin’s appointment underscores the energy secretary’s commitment to making sensible, forward-thinking choices that protect the health and economic well-being of current and future generations."

Under Knobloch's’s leadership, UCS has leveraged its scientific and technical expertise to shape important policies and improve Americans’ well-being. In the last decade, UCS helped secure a dramatic increase in U.S. vehicle fuel efficiency and expanded renewable electricity standards to 29 states and the District of Columbia. UCS provided pivotal analysis that led to the adoption of United Nations financing rules that are slowing deforestation in the tropics. The organization worked successfully to bolster the Whistleblower Protection Reform Act, which extended whistleblower protection to federal scientists. UCS also helped secure Senate ratification of the New START arms control treaty with Russia, reducing the threat from nuclear weapons that have become a security risk in a post-Cold War world.

“We will dearly miss Kevin’s vision, leadership and kindness," adds Rest. "We are so proud to see him devote his considerable skill and talent to service of his country.”