News Release: NREL Director Announces His Retirement

March 19, 2015 | By Heather Lammers | Contact media relations

Dr. Dan E. Arvizu today announced that he intends  to retire at the end of September from his role as the Director and Chief Executive of the Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

Arvizu also expects to retire as President of Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, at the end of September. Alliance manages NREL on behalf of the Energy Department. Arvizu has held the role of laboratory director at NREL since January 2005.

"NREL's work is critical to DOE's mission of supporting American leadership in a global clean energy economy. Under Dan Arvizu's guidance, NREL has become world renowned for clean energy advancement and cutting-edge science," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. "Just one example of Dan's focus on driving technology innovation is the recently opened Energy Systems Integration Facility, which is addressing how new sources of energy can be integrated into our electric grid. Under Dan's guidance, we have also seen a successful push to commercialize cutting-edge technologies, many of which are already having a real market impact. Dan is leaving a deep legacy of leadership and innovation, he will be missed."

"Dan has had a tremendous impact on the success and growth of the laboratory, and we are grateful for his visionary leadership on behalf of both NREL and the nation," said Ron Townsend, Alliance Board Chair and Battelle Executive Vice President for Global Laboratory Operations. "Under Dan's leadership the laboratory has established itself as the world's leader in renewable energy research and development."

During Arvizu's 10-year tenure, NREL's research portfolio has nearly doubled, despite increasingly tight federal budgets. High-performance computing, electricity grid integration, and fundamental research in materials and biological science have emerged to complement major technology research and development programs in renewable generation, renewable fuels, and buildings energy efficiency. The stature and value of the laboratory's leading energy analysis capabilities have expanded as NREL has examined increasingly complex issues. Under Arvizu's leadership, NREL has markedly increased commercial and public partnerships through which the knowledge and knowhow of the laboratory have direct impact in the marketplace.

As director, Arvizu secured funding for and oversaw the transformation of the NREL's main campus in Golden to a model of sustainability, including the award-winning user facility, the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) which added a unique national experimental capability to support public- and private-sector research and development that will accelerate the integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies into legacy energy systems. 

"Dan has accomplished tremendous things during his tenure, guiding the lab to higher levels of scientific and operational performance, and substantially improving NREL's infrastructure. His leadership and friendship will be sorely missed, but he will be leaving the lab in an excellent position to move forward," said Tom Fleener, Alliance Board Vice Chairman and CFO of MRIGlobal.  

Townsend and Fleener said Alliance will begin a national search for a successor immediately. 

"It has been a privilege to work with the very talented and dedicated staff at NREL," Arvizu said.  "I have no doubt the laboratory will continue to be an innovation leader and primary source of technical knowledge and insights that impact the transformation of global energy systems." 

In addition to his role as NREL director, Arvizu was appointed by two successive U.S. presidents to serve six-year terms on the National Science Board, which governs the National Science Foundation and advises the president and Congress on science policy. Arvizu presently serves as chairman. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Public Administration. Arvizu serves on Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz's Energy Policy Council and on the leadership council of the National Laboratory Directors Council. Arvizu also serves on a number of other boards, panels and advisory committees, including the American Council on Renewable Energy Advisory Board, the Singapore International Advisory Panel on Energy, the Colorado Renewable Energy Authority Board of Directors, the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy Advisory Council, and the State Farm Mutual Board of Directors.

Before joining NREL, Arvizu was a chief technology officer with CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. Previously, he was an executive with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, leading organizations in energy technologies, material science, and technology commercialization. He started his career and spent four years at AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Arvizu earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University, and a master's degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.


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