Charles D. McConnell is Executive Director of Rice University's Energy and Environment Initiative, a university-wide effort to address the diverse issues associated with energy and the environment. The Initiative is designed to partner with industry and external stakeholders to position Rice as an impartial broker that combines technology and policy to create a sustainable energy platform in resource utilization and environmental stewardship.
A 35-year veteran of the energy industry, McConnell joined Rice in August 2013 after serving two years as the Assistant Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
At DOE, McConnell was responsible for the strategic policy leadership, budgets, project management, and research and development of the department's coal, oil and gas, and advanced technologies programs, as well as for the operations and management of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the National Energy Technologies Laboratories.
Prior to joining DOE, McConnell served as Vice President of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology in Columbus, Ohio and also spent 31 years with Praxair, Inc.
McConnell has held a number of board positions including chairmanships of the Gasification Technologies Council and the Clean Carbon Technology Foundation of Texas. McConnell holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University (1977) and an MBA in finance from Cleveland State University (1984).