Dr. Erin Whitney is the Director of the Arctic Energy Office. In this role, she leads the Arctic Energy Office mission to bring the Arctic to the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Energy to the Arctic. Director Whitney is based in Alaska, and works with Arctic stakeholders to work in innovative ways to meet the energy, science, and national security needs of the United States and its allies. She implements the Department of Energy's Arctic Strategy to facilitate national energy policies and initiatives.
As a former member of the research faculty at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) and previously as a staff scientist at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), she brought a wealth of experience and deep knowledge of Arctic issues when she joined the Arctic Energy Office in January 2023.
While at ACEP, she founded and directed its thriving Solar Technologies Program, managed the Data Collection and Analysis Program, and led ACEP's work on the Alaska Affordable Energy Strategy that highlights Alaska’ technology-specific energy development needs. She also led a multi-year National Science Foundation project exploring food, energy, and water security, and led the University of Alaska’s regional partner team for the Energy Technology Innovation Partnership Project (ETIPP). Dr. Whitney coordinated a range of activities to integrate hydrogen with Alaska’s energy systems, including the launch of the Alaska Hydrogen Working Group. Dr. Whitney was a 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Germany at the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy in Freiburg, studying hydrogen energy systems for remote microgrids.
From her time at NREL, Dr. Whitney has a strong research background in materials R&D, energy analysis, energy efficiency and energy storage. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Williams College in Massachusetts and a Ph.D., in physical chemistry from the University of Colorado.