Charles D. McConnell is Executive Director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, a university-wide integration of science, engineering, economic analysis, policy and social sciences to address the diverse issues and challenges associated with energy security, affordability and environmental sustainability. The effort is designed to partner with industry and external stakeholders and position Rice as an impartial broker that combines technology and policy to create a sustainable energy platform for excellence in resource utilization and environmental stewardship.
A 35-year veteran of the energy industry, McConnell joined Rice in August 2013 after serving two years as the Assistant Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. At DOE, McConnell was responsible for the strategic policy leadership, budgets, project management, and research and development of the department’s coal, oil and gas, and advanced technologies programs, as well as for the operations and management of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the National Energy Technologies Laboratories.
Prior to joining DOE, McConnell served in senior and operational leadership positions with Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology and Praxair, Inc. McConnell holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MBA in finance from Cleveland State University.