In honor of Women's History Month, we are highlighting the work of some of the amazing women who are doing transformative work in the energy and environmental space. These individuals are breaking down barriers, innovating new technologies, and protecting our planet.
We believe that their stories are an inspiration to all of us, and we hope that you will join us in celebrating their achievements.
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14)
Since the founding of Good Energy Collective, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has inspired our work. Just months after she became the youngest woman elected to Congress, Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal. Critics of the bill labeled it a pipe dream, but the Green New Deal became a rallying cry for climate activists, eventually influencing Biden’s policy platform and leading to the Inflation Reduction Act. AOC remains an inspiration because she holds firm to her progressive values while keeping an open and pragmatic mind toward policy solutions. For example, on a recent trip to Japan, she expressed interest in further exploring nuclear energy’s potential and called out Japan’s continued discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
- Jessica Lovering
Vernice Miller-Travis, Co-Founder WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Vernice Miller-Travis is an inspiring figure for everyone who values equity and inclusion in the environmental movement. An early leader and advocate in the movement, she co-founded WE ACT for Environmental Justice and has become a leading voice for merging civil rights and environmental policy. Miller-Travis’ work includes groundbreaking research, advocacy, and policy initiatives that highlight how environmental risks disproportionately hurt communities of color. This decades-long work and activism, beginning in the 1980s, has profoundly influenced how the Environmental Protection Agency engages with and protects communities of color from exploitation.
- Michael Mouton
Maria Korsnick, President/CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute
Maria Korsnick is an inspirational figure in the nuclear energy industry, rising to become the first female operator in a nuclear power plant control room and later the president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute. Her remarkable achievement in a male-dominated industry, combined with her leadership and advocacy for the industry, is a testament to her determination and perseverance. Korsnick's story inspires women in STEM fields, demonstrating that success is possible regardless of background.
- Khalil Ryan
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna Tribe and a celebrated advocate for environmental justice, climate change, and indigenous rights during her time in Congress. I’m inspired by Haaland because of her incredible perseverance and persistence. She worked her way from making salsa to afford childcare up to her current position as the most influential decision-maker on the ways in which we manage our federal lands. As the first Native American to be in a presidential cabinet, Haaland has broken many barriers and shown a future generation that the highest levels of our government are not out of reach for Women and Indigenous Americans.
- Colter Schroer
Dr. Ashley Finan, Chief Scientist for the National and Homeland Security Directorate at Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
For years, I’ve drawn inspiration from Dr. Ashley Finan, who deserves recognition for her tireless work to enable nuclear energy to continue addressing climate change and air pollution. Ashley, recently named chief scientist for the National and Homeland Security Directorate at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), had for over three years led the National Reactor Innovation Center at INL, which supports and oversees the testing and demonstration of advanced nuclear technologies. Prior to her federal service, Finan made a lasting impact on the field by standing up the Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA) out of the Clean Air Task Force. Thanks to Ashley, NIA is still doing important work to ensure advanced reactors can help mitigate climate change. At a recent reception of U.S. Women in Nuclear hosted by the DC WIN Chapter, I was thrilled to hear Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Annie Caputo name Ashley as a woman who has contributed enormously to the field. As the Nuclear Energy Agency made clear in a report released on International Women’s Day this year, the global nuclear sector has a long way to go toward gender equity. I appreciate Ashley’s work in helping to make the U.S. nuclear innovation landscape a better place to work for the full diversity of identities in the industry.
- Jackie Toth