Martin Keller — Laboratory Director and Alliance President

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 laboratory's active partnerships with industry, universities, foundations, and governments now number more than 1,100—compared to 696 in 2015—generating more than $1 billion in research and development. NREL once again set a record for new partnerships in Fiscal Year 2023, with $143 million; 30 agreements were for $1 million or more. The laboratory's business volume has grown from $382.7 million in 2017 to $783.5 million in 2022.

To keep up with this growth, the number of regular full-time employees at NREL has increased by 82% over Keller's tenure, with the number of staff members more than doubling to nearly 3,700. 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 his leadership team, Keller has developed a strategy for NREL focused on three key initiatives: integrated energy pathways, circular economy, and electrons to molecules. This strategy drives advanced scientific research, programs, projects, and partnerships at NREL.

From 2006 to 2015, Keller led energy, biological, and environmental research programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His efforts culminated in his being promoted to serve as the associate laboratory director for the Energy and Environmental Sciences directorate during his last 6 years there.

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

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and recently retired as chair of its Industrial Science and Technology section. In addition, Keller is chair of the Scientific Advisory Council for Forschungszentrum Jülich, a national research institution in Germany, and serves on numerous scientific advisory boards. In 2022, he was named a Most Admired CEO by the Denver Business Journal, and in 2024, he was named Laboratory Director of the Year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

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