The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy is pleased to announce the addition of new program staff in Washington, D.C. and Anchorage, Alaska. Since 2011, the Office of Indian Energy has focused on developing and implementing technical assistance, education and capacity building, and outreach programs to tribal leaders, staff, and enterprises, as well as Alaska Native villages and corporations, to promote and develop clean tribal energy projects.
Working in conjunction with our colleagues at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Tribal Energy Program, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, we have developed and built up programs and initiatives to engage Tribes and Alaska Native villages in meeting their energy efficiency and clean energy development goals.
Sarai Geary (Muscogee Creek Nation) is our new program manager in D.C. Sarai previously served as the Director of Community Research & Development for the Muscogee Creek Nation, where she worked with 25 Creek communities on technical assistance, education, and capacity building efforts to support economic development in the communities. Sarai will be responsible for designing and implementing technical assistance and educational programs, including the Office of Indian Energy’s Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program, Tribal Leader Forums, Project Development Workshops, and other efforts that positively impact Indian energy development and promote energy education for Indian Tribes across the Lower 48 states. Sarai will also provide advice and assistance in the identification of new and important issues related to tribal and domestic energy, analyze potential impacts, and recommend appropriate activities the Office of Indian Energy can undertake to support Tribes on energy issues.
Our new program manager for Alaska is Givey Kochanowski. Givey comes over from the General Services Administration (GSA), where he served as the Customer Service Director and worked with Alaska Native Tribes and villages on GSA procurement and supply acquisition opportunities. Stationed in Anchorage (at the Denali Commission office), Givey is responsible for the support and delivery of DOE technical assistance, capacity building, energy education, and outreach to all Alaskan tribal entities. He oversees technical resources from across DOE to promote Alaska Native energy cost reduction, economic development, and increased self-determination for all Tribes. He will play a key role in leading coordinated, inter-agency support for tribal energy needs and projects.
Providing program support to both Givey and Sarai is Mark Chandler, our new program specialist. Mark most recently worked at the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management as a Realty Specialist in the Renewable Energy Coordination Office reviewing and processing rights-of-way applications for utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands. As program specialist, Mark is primarily responsible with assisting and coordinating the Office of Indian Energy’s various education and capacity building efforts, including workshops, webinars, forums, and conference events. Mark works with other DOE and federal agencies to ensure Indian energy development programs and strategies are considered. He also reviews reports and studies, and conducts research of current energy trends and technologies that impact Indian energy development.
With our Office fully staffed, we are looking forward to increasing our reach and impact on Indian Country clean energy development.