Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
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Understand Energy Program Manager, Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Role at StanfordUnderstand Energy, Program Manager
BioDavid T. Danielson became a Precourt energy scholar at Stanford in 2016. With Stuart Macmillan and Joel Moxley, Dave co-teaches the yearlong course "Energy Transformation Collaborative." This project-based course provides a launchpad for the creation and development of transformational energy ventures. Interdisciplinary student teams research, analyze and refine detailed plans for high-impact opportunities in the context of the new energy venture development framework offered in this course.
Since January 2017, Dave has been managing director of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion fund focused on fighting climate change by investing in clean energy innovation.
From 2012 to 2016, Dave was assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. There, he directed the U.S. government’s innovation strategy in the areas of sustainable transportation, renewable power, energy efficiency and clean-energy manufacturing, investing about $2 billion annually into American clean-energy innovation. He is considered a global expert in the development of next generation clean-energy technologies and the creation of new R&D and organizational models for high-impact clean energy innovation.
Prior to being appointed by President Obama as assistant secretary, Dave was the first hire at DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency– Energy (ARPA-E), a funding agency that focuses on the development of high-risk, high-reward clean-energy technologies. Prior to his government service, he was a clean-energy venture capitalist and, as a PhD student at MIT, was the founder and president of the MIT Energy Club.
Program Director, Precourt Institute for Energy
BioJeff Decker is managing director of the Technology Transition for Defense Program and co-instructor of Hacking for Defense course at Stanford University. Hacking for Defense uses the Lean Startup technique to tackle complex problems critical to the government around national security, energy networks, cyber security, and AI, and develop new technologies with teams of engineers, scientists, MBA’s and policy experts. With the program, Jeff has taught more than 300 students, faculty, and government personnel user-centered design from over 2 dozen colleges and universities, helping them solve more than 75 unique national security challenges for the Defense Department and related industries. Several student teams have gone on to form companies winning Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, gaining venture capital funding, and one team even became a program of record. Jeff’s work and research focuses generally on defense innovation and dual-use technologies, with a focus on developing go-to-defense market strategies for technology startups and fostering defense-industry partnerships. With his Lean Startup experience and expertise with Hacking for Defense, plus his military service, Jeff is a sought-after expert when it comes to national security and solving Defense Department challenges.
Jeff served in the U.S. Army as a 2nd Ranger Battalion light infantry squad leader in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following his service, he earned a MS in International Relations (Laws), and a doctorate in International Relations before conducting national security and international affairs research at the RAND Corporation.