C2ES President Eileen Claussen Announces Plans to Step Aside

October 7, 2013

Nonprofit Group Launches Search for a Successor

WASHINGTON – Eileen Claussen announced today that she plans to step aside as President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), the nonprofit group she founded and has led for 15 years. Claussen, who plans to devote more time to family while pursuing new endeavors, will continue as President of C2ES during the search for her successor.

Under Claussen’s leadership, C2ES (formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) has become widely recognized in the United States and internationally as a leading independent voice for practical policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. C2ES’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) is the largest U.S.-based group of corporations supporting mandatory policy to address climate change.

“We accepted Eileen’s resignation reluctantly, and we and all of C2ES’s supporters and partners are deeply indebted to Eileen for her many years at the helm,” said C2ES Board Chair Theodore Roosevelt IV, a Managing Director at Barclays and Chairman of its Cleantech Initiative. “During Eileen’s tenure, C2ES has become a recognized leader in promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change and has served as a vital catalyst in bringing together business, environmental groups, policymakers and others around practical solutions. We’re grateful that Eileen has agreed to stay on until her successor is on board to ensure a smooth transition, and are confident that the strong foundation she built will carry C2ES well into the future.”

Claussen, who held several senior posts during more than 20 years of government service before launching the Center, plans to remain actively involved with C2ES.

“I’ve had a very rewarding career, both at senior levels of government and leading our extraordinary team at C2ES,” Claussen said. “I’m especially grateful to my staff, my board and our many partners in the private and nonprofit sectors. But after 15 years as President, I feel it’s time to step aside. I’ll be pursuing new endeavors, such as teaching and consulting. And, after working so many years to ensure a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren, I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my own.”

The C2ES Board of Directors has formed a Search Committee, chaired by Ann Klee, Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety at GE, with the aim of naming a new President in the first quarter of 2014. The Search Committee has retained Korn/Ferry International to manage the search process. Interested candidates should contact Lorraine Lavet, Korn/Ferry’s sector leader, National Association Specialty Practice, at 703-761-7020 for more information.

C2ES’s successes during Claussen’s tenure include:

  • Growing the Business Environmental Leadership Council to 34 leading companies, most in the Fortune 500, with 3.5 million employees and $2 trillion in combined revenues.
  • Consistently being named among the top five environmental think tanks in the world by the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go-To Think Tank Index.
  • Convening multi-stakeholder initiatives to strengthen international climate efforts and to promote plug-in electric vehicles, carbon capture and storage, and expanded use of natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Advising the state of California, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other state and regional climate change efforts.
  • Being honored by the Clinton Global Initiative for the success of its “Make an Impact” program in empowering individuals to save energy.

Claussen began her career with positions at Booz Allen Hamilton, Boise Cascade and the U.S. Department of Defense. From 1987 to 1993, she was Director of the Office of Atmospheric Programs for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she led efforts to protect the ozone layer and managed EPA’s energy efficiency programs, including creation of the popular Energy Star program. Claussen was instrumental in negotiating and implementing the Montreal Protocol, a treaty curbing the production of ozone-depleting CFCs.

From 1993 to 1996, Claussen served as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Global Environmental Affairs at the National Security Council. She went on to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, where she led U.S. diplomacy on issues such as global warming, biodiversity, forest management, oceans, desertification and trade and the environment.

Claussen has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Fitzhugh Green Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Environmental Protection and the Meritorious Executive Award for Sustained Superior Accomplishment. She is the recipient of the Department of State’s Career Achievement Award and the Distinguished Executive Award for Sustained Extraordinary Accomplishment.  She also served as the Timothy Atkeson Scholar in Residence at Yale University.

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at

Media:  Please direct interview and photograph requests to Susan E. Jacobsen