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Climate change presents a unique set of challenges that cannot be solved by one individual, let alone one discipline or industry. Instead, tackling climate change, and identifying the carbon removal technologies that will help us achieve this goal most effectively, will require deep knowledge, diverse experience, and significant collaboration from leading experts across sectors and disciplines. This is why Climate Vault, a nonprofit founded out of the University of Chicago, assembled a Technology Experts Chamber (“Tech Chamber”) to lead the rigorous evaluation of applications received through its annual RFP for Innovative Carbon Dioxide Removal Solutions.

Navigating Complexity Requires Expertise

The Climate Vault Tech Chamber, chaired by former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, is a group of world-renowned science, energy and policy experts from Harvard, MIT, Princeton, and UC San Diego (Scripps Oceanography). The Tech Chamber’s deep subject-matter expertise, diverse experience across academia, government and the private sector, as well as their respected positions at the forefront of discussion and decision-making on climate change issues, makes them uniquely qualified to assess and identify the carbon removal technologies that have the most potential to make a significant impact in the fight against climate change. 

The Tech Chamber members’ deep subject-matter knowledge and experience span each of Climate Vault’s three CDR pathways—Technological, Oceanic, and Terrestrial— ensuring that each application received through Climate Vault’s RFP program is thoroughly examined from diverse perspectives against our selection criteria. As a result, only the most innovative, technologically feasible, and scalable CDR technologies are selected for an award through Climate Vault’s RFP program. 

Get to know more about our Climate Vault Tech Chamber members by reading about their experience, areas of expertise, and accomplishments below. You can also learn more about our RFP assessment process and the Tech Chamber’s integral role in vetting CDR technologies here.

Meet the Tech Chamber Members

Ernest J. Moniz

  • Chair, Climate Vault Technology Experts Chamber
  • Chairman and CEO, EFI Foundation
  • 13th U.S. Energy Secretary

CDR Pathway Expertise: Technological

  • Physics, Energy Technology, Policy

Dr. Moniz is a leading voice on energy innovation pathways and international security matters. He has held prestigious roles in academia, the White House and the Department of Energy, including his service as the thirteenth United States Secretary of Energy (2013-2017). As secretary, he advanced energy technology innovation, nuclear security and strategic stability, cutting-edge capabilities for the American scientific research community, and environmental stewardship. Read his full bio here.

John M. Deutch

  • Emeritus Institute Professor, MIT Department of Chemistry
  • Former Under Secretary, DOE

CDR Pathway Expertise: Technological

  • Chemistry, Energy Technology, Policy

John is a respected authority on the subjects of chemistry, energy technology, international security and policy. He has served in prominent positions across academia and government, including his service as the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Director of Central Intelligence in the first Clinton Administration (1994-1998). He has published over 140 technical publications in physical chemistry, as well as other publications across his fields of expertise. His most recent work, “Fifty Years of Energy Policy: 1973-2023,” was published in March. Read his full bio here.

Margaret Leinen

  • Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
  • Vice Chancellor for Marine Science, UC San Diego
  • Former Assistant Director for Geosciences of the US National Science Foundation

CDR Pathway Expertise: Oceanic

  • Oceans, Climate

Margaret is an award-winning oceanographer and a renowned leader in ocean science, global climate and environmental issues. Her research expertise includes paleo-oceanography and paleo-climatology, with a focus on ocean sediments and their relationship to global biogeochemical cycles and the history of Earth’s ocean and climate. Her impressive career spans academic research and administration, federal research administration, and nonprofit startups. Read her full bio here.

Stephen Pacala

  • Frederick D. Petrie Professor of Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University

CDR Pathway Expertise: Terrestrial

  • Biology, Ecology, Global Carbon Cycles

Stephen is an award-winning ecologist and environmental biologist whose research focuses on all aspects of the global carbon cycle. Stephen has held numerous prestigious roles within academia and the public and private sectors, including his current positions as Chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Committee and member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Read his full bio here.

Daniel P. Schrag

  • Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Harvard University
  • Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Harvard University
  • Co-Director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

CDR Pathway Expertise: Technological, Oceanic

  • Geochemistry, Climatology, Oceans, Carbon Capture and Storage

Daniel is a highly-respected leader in the climate space. His research spans geochemistry, oceanography, and energy technology and policy, with a focus on understanding the evolution of the environment through time and the natural sources of fluctuations in the Earth system. Daniel has received multiple honors throughout his career and held prestigious positions within academia and government, including his service as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST) (2009-2017). Read his full bio here.

The Tech Chamber’s intensive vetting process identifies the most effective and credible projects to receive Climate Vault grants and reduces the risk of our partners’ sustainability initiatives falling short. Thanks to this process, Climate Vault partners know that they are having an immediate impact today, while supporting cutting edge technology to make a better tomorrow for us all.

To stay updated on the next RFP cycle and award outcomes, visit our RFP landing page to sign-up for email notifications.