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Martin Keller — Laboratory Director

A photo of Martin Keller, Laboratory Director of NREL

Martin Keller has served as director of NREL and president of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy—the company that operates NREL for the U.S. Department of Energy—since 2015.

Under his leadership, the number of full-time employees at NREL has increased by more than 32%. Keller is a visionary leader who is committed to people, teams, and partnerships. He innovatively and pragmatically applies private-sector best practices at NREL to achieve game-changing scientific outcomes.

Working collaboratively with NREL’s leadership team, Keller developed a strategy for NREL focused on three key research areas: integrated energy pathways, circular economy for energy materials, and electrons to molecules. This strategy drives advanced scientific research, programs, projects, and partnerships at NREL. For example, NREL recently signed a 10-year, $100 million agreement with ExxonMobil to research and develop lower-emission energy technologies and accelerate new ideas about energy. NREL also has valuable partnerships with Eaton Corporation, Wells Fargo, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Royal Dutch Shell, and more than 815 private- and public-sector organizations.

From 2006 to 2015, Keller led energy, biological, and environmental research programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His efforts culminated in his being promoted to serve as the associate laboratory director for the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate during his last six years at ORNL.

Earlier in his career, Keller’s dedicated work in a variety of research management positions at Diversa Corporation enhanced and developed the microbiology expertise of this biotech company. 

Keller is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement Science (AAAS) and the chair-elect of the AAAS Industrial Science and Technology Section. In addition, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for Julich Forschungszentrum and serves on numerous scientific advisory boards.  

Keller received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Regensburg, Germany.