U.S. Chamber Names New Chief of Institute for 21st Century Energy

January 26, 2009

Karen Harbert to Succeed General James L. Jones as President and CEO

WASHINGTON, DC – January 26, 2009 – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today named Karen Harbert as president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy (Institute).  In this role, Harbert will lead the U.S. Chamber’s efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy.  Harbert succeeds General James L. Jones, whom President Obama tapped to serve as his National Security Advisor on December 1, 2008. 

Karen adds a wealth of knowledge and experience to the leadership of the U.S. Chamber as we work to advance a constructive energy agenda to keep American secure and prosperous, said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. With growing energy and economic challenges, the U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute has a strong mandate and an aggressive agenda to transform the energy and environmental debate into a widely supported plan of action.

Last fall the Institute unveiled an energy platform of nearly 90 policy recommendations for President Obama and members of the 111th Congress to consider and adopt in a Blueprint and Transition Plan for Securing America’s Energy Future.  To read more about the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, visit www.energyxxi.org.

Harbert joined the U.S. Chamber in March 2008 as executive vice president and managing director of the Institute.  Previously, Harbert served as Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. Her office was the primary policy advisor to the Secretary of Energy on domestic and international energy issues, new policy initiatives, climate change programs, and regulatory concerns.  Harbert has also served as vice chairman of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises its 27 member nations on energy policy issues and orchestrates international responses to energy supply disruptions.

Harbert’s private sector experience includes developing international infrastructure and power projects valued at more than $9 billion in countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. She served as deputy assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development and gained experience on issues associated with economic reform and privatization through senior positions at the Organization of American States and the International Republican Institute.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful energy action at the local, state, national, and international levels. 

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.