Melanie A. Kenderdine

Energy Futures Initiative


Areas of Expertise:

Melanie Kenderdine is a principal of the Energy Futures Initiative and a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank. Kenderdine served at the Department of Energy from May 2013 - January 2017, as the Energy Counselor to the Secretary and concurrently as the Director of DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.

Prior to serving in her role at DOE, Ms. Kenderdine worked as the Executive Director and Associate Director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI). During her six-year tenure at MITEI, she managed a large staff, was a member of the research team for MIT’s Future of Natural Gas Study, was the rapporteur and editor for the MITEI Symposium Series, and helped to raise over $500 million from industry and private donors for energy research and education.

Before joining MITEI, she served as the Vice President of Washington Operations for the Gas Technology Institute and from 1993 to 2001, Kenderdine served in several key posts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an appointee of President Bill Clinton. Her last position at DOE was Director of the Office of Policy. Concurrently, Kenderdine served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of DOE for oil, gas, coal and nuclear issues. She was the primary architect of the exchange of Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil in 2000, managed DOE's response to the Japan nuclear accident, helped manage the federal response to the California electricity crisis, and oversaw the establishment of the Home Heating Oil Reserve in the northeastern US. Prior to joining DOE, she worked as chief of staff and as legislative director for New Mexico Congressman Bill Richardson, who was later named US Secretary of Energy.

Ms. Kenderdine has served on a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force to develop a national energy strategy, on the Consumers Energy Council of America Working Group on Distributed Energy, has published articles in the World Energy Forum magazine, co-authored a chapter in “Energy Security in the 21st Century: A New Foreign Policy Strategy,” and is a frequent lecturer on energy issues. In July 2014, Ms. Kenderdine was named one of the top five women in Washington shaping energy policy by the National Journal.

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