Learn More About the Keynote Speakers for the EcoCAR Competition Plenary

Tuesday May 18th kicks off the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year 3 Competition where we will hear keynote remarks from Michael Berube, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation,  Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy, and Kristen Siemen, Vice President, Sustainable Workplaces and Chief Sustainability Officer, General Motors. Both Berube and Siemen have a long history of working towards clean transportation and clean energy.

Michael Berube is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In this role, he oversees EERE’s Sustainable Transportation sector, which includes the Vehicle, Fuel Cell, and Bioenergy Technologies offices. This portfolio focuses on research and development to increase access to domestic, clean transportation fuels and improve the energy efficiency, convenience, and affordability of transporting people and goods to support U.S. energy security, economic productivity and competitiveness.

Previously, he led the Vehicle Technologies Office where he led an array of activities that helped reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and secure a clean energy future. The Vehicle Technologies Office supports about $300 million in annual research funding for hybrid drivetrains, advanced batteries, lightweight materials, advanced combustion and fuels, vehicle systems integration, and Clean Cities deployment activities.

He brings more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry to his new EERE post, specifically in the areas of environmental compliance, energy and safety policy, product development and marketing. He has worked on a broad range of electric vehicle, connected car and advanced powertrain initiatives. Michael also led multiple environmental and energy initiatives within the Chrysler Corporation.

Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from MIT. He later returned to MIT as both a graduate student and researcher where he received a master’s degree in the

Technology and Policy Program and a master’s degree from the Sloan School of Management. He was recognized for his early work on corporate sustainability and led research for the MIT International Motor Vehicle Program. In May of 2020, Michael was also named Acting Director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office.

Kristen Siemen was appointed vice president of Sustainable Workplaces and Chief Sustainability Officer in February 2021. She will help lead General Motors to a future with zero emissions as the company continues to take bold actions against climate change, including GM’s commitment to become carbon neutral in its products and operations by 2040.

In her most recent role as executive director, Global Energy Strategy, Certification, Compliance and Test Labs, Siemen led a cross-functional leadership team responsible for setting corporate energy strategies, including the introduction of fuel economy improvement technologies as well as initiatives aligned with GM’s vision of a zero-emissions future. Siemen worked closely with the Sustainability Office to develop GM’s aspiration to eliminate all tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 as well as the development of the company’s science-based targets.

Siemen has been a member of the General Motors team for over 25 years, and for the past 10 years has held senior leadership positions in various engineering functions. In addition to her accomplished technical career, Siemen is also passionate about promoting inclusion and gender equality. She was instrumental in creating GM’s career reentry program, “Take 2,” serves as GM’s key executive for the Society of Women Engineers and is the co-lead for the GM Women Ally Program. Her work to improve policies and practices effecting change for women earned her the National Association for Female Executives Women of Excellence Activist Award. Siemen also serves on the Board of Advisors for Catalyst and the Advisory Board for Oakland University School of Engineering & Computer Science, where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering.

During the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year 3 Competition Plenary, both Berube and Siemen will share their vision on clean transportation and future goals for each of their respective organizations. Be sure to tune in!