EFI Foundation’s Melanie A. Kenderdine Named New Mexico Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources

Photo of EFI Foundation's Melanie Kenderdine.
Melanie A. Kenderdine, Executive Vice President and Secretary, EFI Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 29, 2024): The entire EFI Foundation (EFIF) team congratulates Melanie A. Kenderdine on being appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as New Mexico’s Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources. Kenderdine was formerly Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.

Kenderdine, together with Ernest J. Moniz (13th U.S. Secretary of Energy) and Joseph S. Hezir (formerly DOE Chief Financial Officer) founded the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in 2017. They and the staff of EFI—now the EFI Foundation—have grown the nonprofit into a leader in data-driven analysis and implementable policy recommendations for the clean energy transition and its intersection with energy security, social equity, and innovation.

“I’ve worked closely with Melanie for more than a quarter century—at DOE, MIT and EFI,” Moniz said. “She has always brought to our efforts an unmatched combination of experience, perspective, and strategy—together with a can-do spirit. These traits will serve well New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state’s citizens and enterprises, all while advancing our national and global aspirations for clean, reliable, and affordable energy. We will miss Melanie as a trusted and talented colleague and friend, but we also wish her well in the important new role that she is taking on. We look forward to collaborative opportunities that draw on her track record in addressing local, regional, national, and global issues.”

Kenderdine gave this reflection:

“Leaving the EFI Foundation to become New Mexico’s Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. The team at EFIF does outstanding and highly impactful work, informing policymakers in the U.S. and around the world on technologies and policy pathways for deep decarbonization of energy systems.” Kenderdine added that EFIF’s young analysts are outstanding, and its senior leadership is second to none. “Alex Kizer worked with me when I ran DOE’s Energy Policy and Systems Analysis Office. David Ellis has been critical in helping to skillfully translate EFIF’s technical analyses into high-impact messages and outreach to policymakers. Their commitment and creativity have been essential to EFIF’s success. I have been working with Joe Hezir for over 20 years—his deep technical knowledge and understanding of federal programs and processes are exceptional.

“Finally, I have worked with Secretary Moniz for almost 30 years, from when he was DOE’s last single Under Secretary, to helping him establish the MIT Energy Initiative, to when he was DOE’s 13th Energy Secretary, and now as CEO at EFIF. He has mentored me, taught me, and relied on me to help analyze, develop, and implement policies for the clean energy transition. 

“I look forward to translating the enormous support and experience of my friends and colleagues at EFIF into high-impact policies and programs for the state of New Mexico. A simple ‘thank you’ does not do justice to what EFIF’s staff and leadership have done for me.”

Prior to her tenure at DOE and serving as Executive Vice President at EFIF, Kenderdine was the Executive Director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), which was established by Moniz in 2006. MITEI grew to be MIT’s largest campus-wide program, engaging about 30% of MIT faculty and, up to the present, providing nearly a billion dollars for campus efforts in clean energy science and technology, policy analysis, and educational programs.

Kenderdine grew up in New Mexico, where her father had a distinguished career as an engineer in the Sandia National Laboratory national security program. She lives with her husband, Steve Cary, in Albuquerque, from where she commuted regularly to EFIF. In her new position, she will work at the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department headquarters in Santa Fe. 

Read Kenderdine’s full biography.

Media Contacts

Alicia Moulton:, (202) 618-2053

Adrienne Young:, (301) 821-7510

About the EFI Foundation:

The EFI Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public on ways to harness the power of technology and policy innovation to accelerate the clean energy transition. The EFI Foundation builds on the work of the Energy Futures Initiative, established in 2017 by Ernest J. Moniz, the 13th U.S. Secretary of Energy.

About Melanie Kenderdine:

Kenderdine served as Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary at the EFI Foundation, the nonprofit research group that has become a preeminent thought leader on the pathways top a low-carbon energy economy. She helped established the nonprofit in 2017 with former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz and Joseph Hezir, the former chief financial officer of the Department of Energy (DOE).

She worked with Hezir and Moniz at the DOE in the Obama administration at the from May 2013 to January 2017. She worked concurrently as energy counselor to the secretary and as the director of DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. Her 100-person office was responsible for analysis and policy development in areas, including DOE’s role in the annual review of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program requirements, energy innovation, and climate change. Her office produced two installments of the Quadrennial Energy Review and helped conceive the Energy Security Principles adopted by Group of Seven nations in 2014.

Before her service at DOE, Kenderdine helped establish the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) as executive director. During her six years at MITEI, she managed a large research and administrative staff, was a key contributor of MIT’s Future of Natural Gas Study, the MITEI Symposium Report on Alternative Fuels and Vehicles, and edited the MIT Future of the Electric Grid study. She was vice president of Washington operations for the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) from 2001 to 2007. While at GTI, Kenderdine established a separate not-for-profit entity, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA). As RPSEA’s first CEO, she transformed it from a memorandum of understanding between GTI and one university, to an industry/academic unconventional natural gas research consortium of 26 universities and 30 industry partners.

From 1993 to 2001, Kenderdine was an appointee in President Bill Clinton’s administration, where she served in several key posts at DOE, including senior policy advisor to the secretary, Bill Richardson, director of the Office of Policy, and deputy assistant secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to joining DOE, Kenderdine was chief of staff and legislative director for then-New Mexico Congressman Richardson.

She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and has homes in New Mexico and Hawaii.


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