KERRY C. DUGGAN
Powered by sustainability practices and obsessed with centering equity while delivering climate solutions
ESG, Sustainability & Climatech Executive. Working with game-changers to solve the climate crisis.
Kerry C. Duggan (she/her) is a national political advisor, visionary climatech executive, and a former government official. During the Obama-Biden administration, Duggan served as White House Deputy Director for Policy in the Office of Vice President Biden and Deputy Director of President Obama’s Detroit task force. Duggan is a leader in the sustainability movement, having been named the founding director of the University of Michigan’s SEAS Sustainability Clinic in Detroit and holding several public leadership roles, including at the U.S. Department of Energy.
After the 2020 election, Duggan was a member of the Biden-Harris Transition Team on the Department of Energy Agency Review Team. In May 2020, Duggan was named a member of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force on Climate Change and later co-chaired the climate change policy committee as a surrogate for the Biden campaign. In 2021, Duggan was appointed to the Department of Energy’s prestigious Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, serving under Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Governor Gretchen Whitmer also appointed Duggan to the State of Michigan’s Council on Climate Solutions.
Duggan is the founder and CEO of SustainabiliD, a woman-owned, woman service-disabled veteran operated, Detroit-based diverse small business working with gamechangers to equitably solve the climate crisis. Duggan is also a corporate board director and advises numerous climatech companies and funds.
Kerry C. Duggan (she/hers) is a national political advisor and visionary climatech executive, and a former government official. Duggan is the founder SustainabiliD, a woman-owned, woman service-disabled veteran operated, Detroit-based diverse small business working with gamechangers to equitably solve the climate crisis. She has been named the founding director of the University of Michigan’s SEAS Sustainability Clinic in Detroit. Previously, Duggan served in several public-service positions, including Deputy Director for Policy in the Office of Vice President Biden at the White House and simultaneously as Deputy Director of President Obama’s Detroit task force after several leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she championed Detroit’s street lighting conversion to LEDs for a smaller carbon footprint, the city's first urban solar park and a resilience MOU between Argonne National Lab (ANL) and the City of Detroit.
In 2021, Duggan was appointed to the Department of Energy’s prestigious Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, serving under Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Duggan to the State of Michigan’s Council on Climate Solutions, to advise on the implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to transition toward economy-wide carbon neutrality. In 2020-21, Duggan was a member of the Biden-Harris Transition Team on the Department of Energy Agency Review Team. In May 2020, Duggan was named a member of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force on Climate Change, serving as one of Biden’s five delegates alongside Gina McCarthy and Sec. John Kerry; and later co-chaired the climate change policy committee and served as a Surrogate for the Biden campaign.
As a renowned public and private sector energy and environmental national leader, Duggan is also a Board Director at Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: PESI), a leading provider of nuclear waste treatment and management services as well as technical, professional, and radiological instrumentation services. She is also a senior advisor at RockCreek, a global investment firm that applies innovation to decision making to shape a more sustainable tomorrow. Her national advisory board work includes Aclima, Inc., a Public Benefit Corporation, dedicated to catalyzing bold climate action that protects public health, reduces emissions, and supports environmental justice; as well as Boston-based Arctaris Impact Investors, who provides capital to profitable, growth-oriented businesses, delivering above-market investment returns alongside positive social impact. She is also advising New York-based HEVO which has licensed its high-power wireless charging technology for electric vehicles from the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
Locally, Duggan is an advisor to Novi-based Our Next Energy (ONE), backed by the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures which just announced a record-breaking achievement of 752 miles on one single electric charge. She has partnered with Detroit-based Walker-Miller Energy Services CEO Carla Walker-Miller to launch the Detroit Economic Energy Partnership (DEEP) initiative, aimed at fostering resilient communities and growing a sustainable local economy, using an innovative approach to achieving home energy savings through impact investing. Most recently, Duggan was named the founding Director of the new University of Michigan SEAS Sustainability Clinic in Detroit to combat the effects of climate change and improve the ability of the city and nonprofits serving the city to address climate impacts on the natural and built environment, human health, and the city’s finances. Duggan is also an advisor to BlueConduit, the Ann Arbor-based data science company that invented the machine learning algorithms that accurately found the locations of lead service lines in Flint, which is capable of helping communities save millions, get the lead out faster, reducing the amount of digging required, and the cost. She also founded the University of Michigan’s Michigan Business Sustainability Roundtable to build an equitable and socially and environmentally sustainable State of Michigan through the power of business by convening senior sustainability officers from Michigan’s largest headquartered corporations.
Recent work that she helped deliver include two first-in-the-nation projects, the Apple Developer Academy and Science Gallery (both in Detroit), the RockCreek Global Climate Summit featuring Andrew Steer and Gina McCarthy, and standing up the Aclima national EJ Advisory Board.
Duggan is a member of the International Women’s Forum, a Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists and has been a long-standing member of the Board of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. In 2018, she was named to the prestigious 40 Under 40 list by Crain’s Detroit Business.
After her time in federal service, Duggan co-founded the Smart Cities Lab, was a partner with the Honorable Thomas J. Ridge’s firm and has served on the External Advisory Board of the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise and the Board of the Global Council for Science and the Environment, as well as serving as a Trustee of the University Liggett School. She previously worked at the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C.
Duggan is a native of Farmington Hills, Michigan, and a graduate of Detroit Country Day School, where she was an All-State and state champion basketball player. She received her B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and her M.S. from the University of Michigan.
She has been written about in The New York Time, CNN, E&E News, Bloomberg, Crain's Detroit Business, The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, Vox, Huffington Post, Scientific America, GreentechMedia, Inside Climate News, The Japan Times, Grist, WDET, and Politico.
She and her husband, JJ Vélez, live in Detroit, Michigan, with their two children and many pets.
NOTE: Kerry is not related to Mayor Michael E. Duggan.
- Founding Director, SEAS Sustainability Clinic
- University Liggett School, Trustee
- University of Michigan:
- Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, External Advisory Board
- School for Environment & Sustainability, External Advisory Board
- Alumni Leadership Council, Council Member-at-Large
- Climate Change Research Assistant
- Detroit Country Day School, Alumni Mentor
- 2020 Biden for President, Climate, Energy & Environment Policy Committee, Co-Chair
- 2020 Democratic National Convention, Platform Committee, Biden Appointee
- Biden Appointee to the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force on Climate Change
- City of Detroit Census Complete Count Committee, Co-Chair Outreach Committee
- Office of the Vice President, Deputy Director for Policy
- Detroit Federal Working Group, Deputy Director
- Office of Secretary, Liaison to the City of Detroit
- Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE):
- Director of Stakeholder Engagement
- Director of Legislative, Regulatory & Urban Affairs
- League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Campaigns Project Manager & PAC Coordinator, IE Campaign Director
- Michigan LCV, Deputy Director & Director of Development
- Michigan Environmental Council (MEC), Policy Specialist, Case Manager, Southeast Michigan Representative