Charles “Chuck” McConnell is the Executive Director of the Rice University Energy and Environmental Initiative.
Prior to joining Rice University, McConnell was Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U. S. Department of Energy with responsibilities for office operations and managing the oversight of Fossil Energy's Research and Development program (encompassing coal, oil and natural gas) and the U.S. Petroleum Reserves.
McConnell has served as the Chief Operating Officer in the Office of Fossil Energy at the U. S. Department of Energy. As COO, McConnell managed the daily operations of Fossil Energy’s programs and leadership, including strategic planning, program direction, and evaluation.
Prior to joining DOE, McConnell served as Vice President of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology in Columbus, Ohio, with responsibility for business and technology management, including leadership of the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership.
McConnell also spent 31 years with Praxair, Inc., in various positions in the U.S. and Asia and most recently in Houston, Texas, as Global Vice President. His duties included providing leadership to research and development initiatives in oxy-coal technologies, hydrogen, refining and chemicals, enhanced oil recovery, as well as, carbon management science for carbon dioxide capture and sequestration.
McConnell has held a number of advisory positions, including chairmanships of the Gasification Technologies Council and the Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas. He has also served on the FutureGen Advisory Board; the Gulf Coast Carbon Center; T&P Syngas Company; Pittsburgh Coal Conference; and the Coal Utilization Research Council.
McConnell holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MBA in Finance from Cleveland State University.