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David Danielson

Adjunct Professor

David 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.

Mr Joel Forrest Moxley

Adjunct Professor

Joel Moxley is a Precourt Energy Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. Joel received his B.S.E in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Joel is co-founder of Foro Energy and Rho AI, and he is a founding investor and board member of Zero Mass Water, Rubicon Global, Pie Insurance, and Fervo Energy. Joel is also an angel investor in more than 30 early-stage technology companies including Biota Technology. He actively invests from a small institutional fund into pre-seed, seed, and Series A financing rounds. He is a member of the investment team of Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

Past Instructors

Alexander Karsner profile photo

Alexander Karsner

Alexander A. Karsner was Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from 2005 to 2008. He is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Task Force on Energy Policy. He distinguished himself as a principal architect and contributor to international climate change deliberations toward achieving a post-2012 global energy framework and as America's top regulator for energy efficiency. He brings twenty years of experience in global energy development and project financing across a wide array of conventional and renewable sources. He served as CEO of the power development and consulting firm Enercorp, and both Director and Senior Development Manager for Wartsila Diesel. Mr. Karsner is currently on the Board of Directors of Argonne National Laboratory, Conservation International and Applied Materials. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness and a leader of the Energy Future Coalition.

Stuart Macmillan

Stuart Macmillan, MS ’80, PhD ’84, is a Precourt Energy Scholar and adjunct professor at Stanford. Since joining Stanford as a consulting professor in 2009, Stuart has contributed to a broad range of initiatives at the Precourt Institute for Energy, including the Global Climate & Energy Project, Energy@Stanford & SLAC and the course Stanford Energy Ventures (formerly Energy Transformation Collaborative). The popular course, which Stuart co-teaches with Dave Danielson and Joel Moxley in fall, winter and spring terms, is interdisciplinary and project-based. Student teams develop scalable solutions to the world’s most vital systems.

After studying statistics and artificial intelligence as a graduate student at Stanford, Macmillan worked at FMC Corp., where he helped launch a new AI research group focused on autonomous vehicles, machine vision and intelligent assistants. In 1987, Macmillan joined Sun Microsystems, where he oversaw initiatives on engineering, research, acquisitions, investments and strategy. At Sun, Macmillan was on the founding team of JavaSoft, a foundational Internet technology. He was also the chief scientist for energy informatics at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) from 2008 through 2017. Macmillan helped start NREL’s program on energy systems integration. In addition to his teaching at Stanford, he is a partner at Ridge-Lane Limited Partners, a venture development firm focused on public/private partnerships.


Catherine Radford Zoi

Cathy Zoi is co-founder and president of Odyssey. She is also an adjunct professor and Precourt Energy Scholar at Stanford. Previously, Cathy was assistant secretary of energy in the Obama administration. She was the founding CEO of SunEdison Frontier Power, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority. Cathy has been an investor (Silver Lake and Bayard Capital) and a company director, and is currently on the boards of Sunco and Ice Energy. She was chief of staff for environmental policy in the Clinton White House and pioneered the Energy Star program at the U.S. Enivornmental Protection Protection Agency. Cathy has a B.S. in geology from Duke University and an M.S. in engineering from Dartmouth.